The Olympic Games is a tribute to the amazing potential of the human body. It is a time and space where the best athletes of each country compete for the elusive gold medal. When the torch is lit and the races start, it seems like the rest of the world fades away, leaving only the pursuit of excellence.
The Paralympics and the Special Olympics grant other amazing athletes with the opportunity to compete and achieve the Olympic dream. And what about athletes with the invisible disability of hearing loss?
Deaf and hard of hearing athletes have been competing among their peers in the Deaflympics since 1924. The Deaflympics Games are held with the same values and ideals of the Olympics, and supplements the solidarity of a worldwide deaf community. The Deaflympics Village is a beautiful mosaic of multiple cultures and languages, a space where communication is easy and disability becomes ability.
The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) is responsible for the coordination of the Deaflympics and all World Deaf Championships. The International Olympic Committee recognizes the ICSD to be of equal standing with the International Paralympic Committee.
The United States of America Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) is the governing body of national deaf sport organizations and represents U.S.A. in the Deaflympics and other world deaf competitions. Through the USADSF, American athletes with hearing loss have the opportunity to represent the star spangled banner. In its 70 years of existence, the USADSF has produced national champions, international record-breakers and Deaflympics medalists.
But lack of funding and support has seriously debilitated the potential of the USADSF and its athletes. Despite the efforts of the USADSF, the burden of fundraising has had to be shouldered by athletes and coaches alike. Too many of our stellar athletes and coaches have had to pass up opportunities because of the expense of participation in high-level competitions.
It takes approximately $4,500 to cover all travel and competition costs for one athlete to compete at the Deaflympics.
Athletes spend too much precious time and energy trying to raise money just to be able to compete. The focus is not on strength conditioning or refining techniques, but how to fund their dreams. Coaches who volunteer are willingly giving up a large chunk of time for free. Fundraising on top of coaching and generating an income means our coaches have to juggle several jobs without the ability to give athletes the full 100% attention they need and deserve.
These athletes deserve the same chance at excellence, but they need help from all of us. With the proper training and support that is afforded to world-class elite athletes in the same sport, deaf athletes are capable of Olympic-level achievements.
It takes a team of committed individuals to achieve goals, and our goal is to help athletes achieve theirs! Will you join us in making dreams come true? Donate today to make dreams into realities.
Together, we can raise the funds we need to send our athletes to the Deaflympics. Together, we win!