The official Closing Ceremony of the Winter Deaflympics was held on April’05 in the concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic” in Khanty-Mansiysk.
Traditionally guests and participants were entertained with choreographic and theater performances set against the night sky with shining stars. In the end of the ceremony actors greeted the audience in sign language and thanked it.
Then athletes from 27 countries participated in the Deaflympics appeared on the stage of the concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”. They were representing France, Armenia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Pakistan, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and USA. 344 athletes – 251 men and 93 women – have participated in the Games.
Upon the end of the march-in the last awarding ceremony of the Deaflympics took place. In women’s the gold medal was won by Ella Shevlyakova from Russia. Lauren Weibert from USA became the silver medalist. And one more Russian athlete Svetlana Anisimova won bronze.
In men’s boardercross the gold medalist is Tomas Pazdera from Czech Republic. Silver was won by Blair Esson from USA. Alexey Ignatenko from Russia got bronze.
«This week has passed very soon, – it seems that we have just met and now we are saying good bye to the Deaflympics, – said the active governor of Ugra Natalia Komarova. – Shortly before the start of the competitions a big scientific discovery was made in Ugrа – scientists have found a mammoth that lived here 30 000 years ago. This was long ago, but this mighty animal still draws our admiration. Your victories also have already become the history. However, they will inspire girls and boys from all over the world. This is the main Heritage of the Deaflympics».
The President of the Russian Committee of Deaf Sports Alexander Romantsov has noted that the Games were organized on a very high level. «I would like these Deaflympics to live in the memories of people. I wish that the numbers of participants will be increasing and there will be more victories on the next Deaflympic Games. The family spirit reigned on these Deaflympics», – said he.
In his turn the President of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf Valery Rukhledev has expressed his hope for the future development of the Deaflympic movement, the increasing number of disciplines included in the program of the Games and the same high level of organization and conducting the Deaflympic Games. He said that all the athletes are already feeling sad but still there’s no reason for this as they will meet again in 4 years», – he concluded and declared the XVIII Winter Deaflympics closed.
When this was done, Alexander Romantsov has passed the flag of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf to Valery Rukhledev. It is not decided yet who will be hosting the next Winter Deaflympics. The Committee has already received 5 applications and the next host country will be known in a couple of months.
The program of the ceremony continued with choreographic performances of bands from Ugra and then the actors of the theater of mimics and gestures have sung the song made especially for the Closing Ceremony of the Games – «Ugra welcomes you».
The culmination of the ceremony was the extinction of the Deaflympic fire that was lighted in Khanty-Mansiysk on the day of opening the Games. The cup with the fire has appeared on the stage and it was extinguished. On the same moment the fire of the Deaflympic cauldron placed on the central square of the city has also disappeared.
In the end of the ceremony the audience was reminded about the sport battles that took place in Khanty-Mansiysk and Magnitogorsk these days.
It is worth reminding that Russia became the winner of the unofficial medal count of the Games. Ithas 30 medals: 12 gold, 6 silverand 12 bronze medals. Athletes from Czech Republic are on the second position of the medal count with 6 gold and 1 silver medal. The third place belongs to USA – 3 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals.