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About the Deaflympics from the first person

The governor of Ugra Natalia Komarova has told about the XVIII Winter Deaflympics that will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk from March’25’2005.

Фото Губернатора

Russia is hosting the Deaflympics for the first time. Natalia Vladimirovna, how it happened that the games will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk?

– The history of deaf sports in our region is very big. At the moment there are around 600 deaf athletes in Ugra, 23 of them are members of our national team. Our countrymen have won medals of the most important world competitions in track and field athletics, skiing, volleyball. Besides, Ugra is experiences in conducting very important national and international sport events for healthy athletes and physically challenged athletes. Every year Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous region is hosting around 400 sport competitions of different level. One more advantage of the capital of our region is that all sport venues are at a walking distance from one to another. We applied for hosting the Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk and the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf has chosen us among all the candidates. We’ll do our best to justify the confidence of the international sport community.

Are the sport venues of Khanty-Mansiysk ready to host such a mass scale sport competitions?

– All the sport venues that will be used for the Deaflympics are made in accordance with the international standards and are ready to host this competitions. The technical delegation of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf was on a working visit in Khanty-Mansiysk this spring and all out venues were highly estimated by it. The ice hockey and curling tournaments will be conducted in the ice palaces of Khanty-Mansiysk. The skiing competitions, where 5 athletes from Ugra will be participating, will be held in the Nordic Ski Centre. The snowboarding competitions will be held in the alpine skiing complex “Khvoyny Urman”. Here our young athlete from Khanty-Mansiysk Maria Podorovskaya will be competing for the medals. The program of the XVIII Winter Deaflympics includes 5 deaf sport disciplines.

Khanty-Mansiysk is gradually becoming a non-barrier city. Are there going to be used some additional arrangements to make the orienteering of deaf athletes more convenient during the Deaflympics?

– For the Deaflympics special visual signs for deaf athletes and fans will be places on the territory of Khanty-Mansiysk. It will assist them in better orienteering around the city.

It is obvious that deaf sport competitions will be less attractive for the audience than competitions for healthy athletes. And, taking into account that The Deaflympics are almost not shown on TV, sport fans usually don’t know the names of the outstanding athletes with hearing disabilities. How to make people interested in the Deaflympics? How many people are going to visit the competitions?

– This the world class competitions. Sochi has hosted the Paralympic games and it was very difficult there to get a ticket for the sport competitions where Russian athletes were participating. I hope the Deaflympics will be also very interesting for the public. According to the current information, more than 450 athletes from 27 countries are going to participate in the event. A lot of athletes from European countries, the USA, Ukraine are coming to Khanty-Mansiysk. We will do our best to conduct the games on the highest possible organizational level. We are getting a lot of mails from fans from different regions of Russia, who are interested how to buy tickets and what hotel to book. Around 100 deaf people from the USA are going to come to Russia to support their team. I think people interested in sports will not be able to miss such an important sport event. Especially if the tickets for the competitions will be free of charge. The live internet broadcasting of the competitions from all the venues of the Deaflympics will be also organized for all sport fans.

What are your expectations for the Deaflympics?

– For a bit more than a year Russia is hosting three Winter Olympics: the XXII Winter Olympics, the XI Winter Paralympics in Sochi, the XVIII Winter Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Olympics and The Paralympics were conducted on a highly professional level and I am sure it has stimulated a lot of boys and girls to go in for sports and have a healthy lifestyle. Now it is the turn of the Deaflympics. I hope it will make more people with hearing disabilities interested in sports, special sport classes for the deaf will be opened in schools.

Natalia Vladimirovna, is it planned to do some actions to prevent accommodation costs from rising for the period of the Deaflympics?

– Yes, we have reached the agreement that accommodation costs will not only be fixed on a standard level but lowered.

Are there going to be special money prizes for Ugra athletes in case they win medals?

– The Head of the Government of Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev has given an order to establish money prizes for Russian athletes participating in the XVIII Winter Deaflympics in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2015. 4 million rubles will be given to the gold winner, 2,5 millions and 1,7 millions will be given for silver and for bronze. The Deaflympic athletes of Ugra  will get the same rewards as athletes of Olympic and Paralympic games. The rewards are 7 million rubles for gold medal, 5 million rubles for silver medal and 3 million rubles for bronze medal.

Are you going to visit the Deaflympics competitions?

– Of cause, it will depend on my schedule but I am mostly interested in snowboarding and skiing competitions as Ugra athletes are going to participate in them. I would also like to see the game sports competitions – ice hockey and curling games. It is the first time that Ugra is hosting curling tournament. We are also looking forward to meeting athletes and fans. WelcometoUgra!

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