Deaf Olympics

Official Name: Deaflympics

The Deaf Olympics, known as the Deaflympics, are international athletic competitions for the deaf.

The Deaflympics started in Paris in 1924 and have had three official names:

  • “International Games for the Deaf” from 1924 to 1965
    (sometimes also the “International Silent Games”)
  • “World Games for the Deaf” from 1966 to 1999
    (sometimes also the “World Silent Games”)
  • “Deaflympics” from 2000 on

Even though the Deaflympics are commonly called the “Deaf Olympics,” this has never been an official name. The International Olympic Committee hasn’t allowed the name “Olympics” to be used for the deaf games.

The Deaflympics are held every 4 years. The first games started in 1924 in Paris and have occured every four years after that (except for a break during World War II). The Deaflympic Winter Games were added in 1949.

In order to qualify to compete, you must have at least a 55 db hearing loss in your better ear. You aren’t allowed to use hearing aids or cochlear implants while competing, to put all athletes at the same level.

Best of 2009 Summer Deaflympics

This is a great video that shows clips from the 2009 Summer Deaflympics. It should give you a good idea about how official and international these games are. They may be for deaf people only, but victory in these games is a grand achievement.

More Information

Official Deaflympic Website – This is the official website of the Deaflympic games.

Wikipedia: Deaflympics – Includes information as well as a list of competing sports, countries, and Deaflympic locations.


  1. A student

    Is ASL the language most used in the deaflympics?

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