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Deaflympics coming to Vancouver in 2015

Whistler's role in event unclear

It is not yet clear how Whistler could be involved in the Deaflympics that are coming to Vancouver in 2015 but the event is something town partners are interested in.

"Hosting such an event would be consistent with Whistler's sport tourism and all partners, including Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb, are interested in learning more, but with the 2010 Winter Games having just past there are only preliminary discussions at this time," said the municipality's senior communication officer Jessica Delaney.

Once known as the International Silent Games, the games date back to 1924 where the first summer games were held in Paris for deaf athletes.

The most recent name, the Deaflympics, was formally adopted in 2001.

Sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the Deaflympics is the world's second oldest multiple sports games after the Olympics. There are 19 summer sports disciplines, from mountain biking to table tennis. Last year, in Chinese Taipei, the summer games brought together more than 4,000 deaf athletes and officials from 77 nations.

Like the Olympics and Paralympics, the winter games at the Deaflympics are on a much smaller scale with five sports disciplines: alpine skiing, cross country, curling, ice hockey and snowboarding.

Vancouver's Deaflympics will be the 18 th winter games, which are held every four years.

Salt Lake City hosted the last games, in 2007. Six-hundred athletes and officials participated. Next year the Deaflympics will be help in Vysoké Tatry, Slovakia.