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January 4, 2005

Australian team gathers for Deaflympics

From: ABC Online, Australia - Jan 4, 2005

Deaflympic athletes from across Australia have gathered in Melbourne for an official welcome ahead of tomorrow's opening of the 20th Summer Deaflympic Games.

Ninety countries will participate in Melbourne and Ballarat over the next 10 days.

Deaf Sports Australia's chief executive, Jacinta Baldwin, said the largest ever Australian Deaflympics team would be competing in the Games, with a record 152 competitors.

She said it was essential that the team met face-to-face before competition commenced.

"It's very important for deaf and hard of hearing people to be face-to-face so we're very excited to be here," Ms Baldwin said.

"For a sporting reason, face-to-face where they can talk in their own language."

© 2004 ABC