The city of Khanty-Maniysk, which was a part of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, will be the location of the Winter Deaflympics next year. Games will take place from February 27 to March 7, 2015 in five winter sports: cross-country skiing, snowboard, curling, alpine skiing and ice hockey.
The Deaflympics are the longest running multi-sport event excluding the Olympics and were also the first international sporting event for athletes with a disability.
Athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 db in their ‘better ear’ to compete. Hearing aids, cochlear implants and the like are not allowed to be used in competition, to place all athletes on the same level.
The first Winter Games, held in Seefeld, Austria, in 1949, included 33 athletes from 5 nations. In 2007, 298 athletes from 23 countries participated in the 16th Winter Deaflympics hosted in Salt Lake City. In 2011, the 17th Winter Deaflympics were canceled due the lack of readiness by the Deaflympics Organizing Committee in Slovakia.