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Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. Announces 16th Winter Deaflympics to be held in Utah, February 1-10, 2007

THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION, SALT LAKE CITY, UT (February 17, 2005) – Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. announced that Utah was chosen as the site of the 2007 Winter Deaflympics, the largest winter athletic and cultural event of deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

photo: Sorenson Media presents a check of $250K
Left to right: Gallaudet University President Dr. I. King Jordan, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., Sorenson Media's CEO James Lee Sorenson, 2007 Winter Deaflympics Chairperson Dwight Benedict, and DEAFLYMPICS President Dr. Donalda Ammons.

2007 Deaflympics Organizing Committee chairman Dwight Benedict said that Utah was chosen for the 2007 Deaflympics because of the world class winter sports venues left over from the 2002 Olympics, Utah has the greatest snow in the world, and the people of Utah, both deaf and hearing, are known for their great, warm hospitality. Utah also has a great Deaf community which is working closely with us in organizing the 2007 Winter Deaflympics.

DEAFLYMPICS president Dr. Donalda Ammons gave a brief overview of the Deaflympics. Founded in Paris, France in 1924, the Deaflympics are the second oldest multi-sport and cultural event in the world, after the Olympics which were founded in 1896. Around 400 deaf athletes from 24 countries and over 4,000 fans are expected to attend the 2007 Deaflympics. The Deaflympics has both winter and summer games, and the 20th Summer Deaflympics were held in Melbourne, Australia in January 2005. The 2009 Summer Deaflympics will be held in Taipei, Taiwan.

photo: Dwight Benedict gives a short talk
graphic: DeafNation logo
Salt Lake City will be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, ice hockey and curling competition, cultural and theatrical events, and the Deaflympics Village. Park City will be the site of alpine skiing and snowboarding competition, and Soldier Hollow Nordic Center will be the site of cross-country skiing competition. The headquarters hotel and “Deaflympics Village” will be Little America Hotel in Downtown Salt Lake City.

James Lee Sorenson, the chief executive officer of Sorenson Media, presented a check for $250,000 to 2007 Deaflympics organizing committee chair Dwight Benedict, and became the Deaflympics’ first major sponsor. Since the total budget for the Games is between $1.8 and $2.0 million, additional sponsors are being sought.

James Lee Sorenson and Gallaudet University President Dr. I. King Jordan are co-chairmen of the 2007 Deaflympics Honorary Advisory Board, which will provide the Organizing Committee with advisory support.

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