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February 10, 2006

16th Winter Deaflympics: Moving Forward for One and All

From: 2007 Deaflympics Media - Feb 10, 2006

CONTACT: Secretary-General Edward Ingham
2007 Deaflympics Organizing Committee
Phone: (866) 327-8877

16th Winter Deaflympics: Moving Forward for One and All

The 16th Winter Deaflympics, to be held in Salt Lake City USA (SLC) February 1-10, 2007, will offer the best of the Winter Deaflympics tradition, competition featuring the world’s best deaf athletes, and a cultural arts festival.  In an effort to have something for winter sports enthusiasts and others, the 16th Winter Deaflympics Organizing Committee is planning to create an international winter sports and cultural arts festival that will coincide with the Games.  The Deaflympics, founded in 1924, is the second oldest international multi-cultural sports event in the world, surpassed only by the Olympics which were founded in 1894.

The Opening Ceremony, sponsored by Sorenson Legacy Foundation, will be a gala event produced by some of the same people responsible for the magnificent opening performance of the Gallaudet University Deaf Way II festival held in Washington, DC in July 2002.  The Ceremony will be held at the Delta Center in SLC.  After the traditional parade of nations, official greetings from leaders of the Deaflympic movement, raising of the Deaflympic and Olympic flags, and the lighting of the cauldron previously used during the 2002 SLC Winter Olympic G­ames, attendees will observe and even participate in a spectacle created and produced by Timothy McCarty, Director of Quest, Arts for Everyone, in collaboration with Jeffrey Berke Productions, a SLC company that created and managed events during the 2002 SLC Olympics.
Competition will be world class, with elite deaf athletes from around the world competing at some of the same venues used in the 2002 hearing Olympics.  Downhill (alpine) skiing and snowboarding events will be held at Park City Mountain Resort.  Nordic (cross-country) skiing competition will be held at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, and ice hockey and curling competition will be held at the Steiner Ice Center in the Salt Lake City Sports Complex, just a few minutes by light rail (tram) from the Deaflympics headquarters hotel. 
To enhance cultural exchanges between athletes and the thousands of individuals expected to attend from around the world, the 2007 Deaflympics organizing committee has contracted for central lodging facilities and is planning an array of evening activities and artistic events that will be accessible to both deaf and hearing individuals.  The headquarters hotel, Little America Hotel (LAH), was chosen with this particular goal in mind.  Despite its name, LAH is a huge hotel facility with 880 rooms and many large multipurpose rooms suitable for various activities.  LAH, which was one of the official 2002 Olympics hotels, where the International Olympic Committee stayed, is well-known for its great buffet meals, considered among the best served at SLC restaurants.  A special 16th Winter Deaflympics room rate includes daily buffet breakfasts and dinners.  Reservations may be made at
Evening arts events and cultural and social activities will be held at LAH and other venues within walking distance or close to light rail stops within central downtown SLC.  An International Deaf Coffee House, open nightly with a relaxing atmosphere and entertainment, will be featured at the LAH.  There also will be an International Deaf Club with live music, dancing, and entertainment at a private club near the hotel.  Plans are also underway to offer a visual and performing arts festival during the Games, at sites within the downtown area, giving visitors even more choices to enjoy the Games and all that SLC has to offer.  The 16th Winter Deaflympics will be an international event that is not to be missed. The Games will conclude with a spectacular Closing Ceremony and celebration of the senses at the Salt Palace Convention Center. 
The 16th Winter Deaflympics Organizing is continuing to build on the generosity of several major sponsors including Communications Services for the Deaf (CSD), Sorenson Communications, Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Utah Office of Tourism, Gallaudet University, and DeafNation.  The Games Organizing Committee chairperson Dwight Benedict is striving to ensure that at least half of the sponsors, regardless of the amounts donated, are deaf owned businesses and individuals. If you are interested in helping support the 16th Winter Deaflympics, or may know someone who is, sponsorship information is available at  Or, you can contact 16th Winter Deaflympics Secretary-General Edward Ingham at  The website also has information on the Games schedule, tickets, accommodations, and more.

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