This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. (July 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
21st Summer Deaflympics
2009 Summer Deaflympics logo.svg
Motto: "Power in me! 無聲的力量!"
Host cityTaipei
Country Taiwan
Flag of Chinese Taipei for Deaf.png
Chinese Taipei)
MottoPower in me! (English)
無聲的力量! (Traditional Chinese, lit. The Silent Power!)
Nations participating80 countries
Athletes participating2,670 athletes (3,354 including staff members)[1]
Events177 (20 disciplines)[2]
Opening ceremonySeptember 5
Closing ceremonySeptember 15
Officially opened byPresident Ma Ying-Jeou
Main venueTaipei Stadium

The 2009 Summer Deaflympics (Chinese: 2009年夏季聽障奧林匹克運動會; pinyin: 2009 Nián Xiàjì tīngzhàng àolínpǐkè yùndònghuì), officially known as the XXI Summer Deaflympic Games and commonly known as Taipei 2009, is an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 5 to 15 September 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China). It is the third Summer Deaflympics to be held in the Asia-Pacific region. Judo, karate, and taekwondo have been recognized as new summer disciplines in the Deaflympics sports competition program.

Bidding process

The Chinese Taipei Sport Association for the Deaf expressed its intention to bid for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics following its participation at the 2001 Summer Deaflympics in Rome. Athens, Greece, the host city of the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Paralympics, was also bidding for the hosting right.

On November 24, 2002, ICSD President John Lovett arrived in Taipei, and visited all recommended venues and facilities during the one-week stay. The Chinese Taipei Sport Association for the Deaf gave Mr. Lovett multimedia presentations and made arrangements for him to meet with President Chen Shui-bian, Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee Chairman Huang Ta-chou, and other officials.[3]

Taipei was chosen to host the 21st Summer Deaflympics in a vote held at the 38th ICSD session, finishing ahead of Athens, Greece. Below was the vote count that occurred on February 28, 2003, in Sundsvall, Sweden:[4]

2009 Summer Deaflympics Bidding Results
City National Olympic Committee Round 1
Taipei, Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Deaf Sports Federation 52
Athens, Greece Hellenic Sports Federation of the Deaf 32


Preparation for the Games started in 2005, with an estimated total budget of NT$ 4.6 billion for the required infrastructure. The construction of the Taipei Stadium alone costs around NT$3 billion.[5] The funding is provided by the Taipei City Government and the Sports Affairs Council. The main stadium Taipei Stadium was completed on June 15, 2009, and was certified as a Class 1 Athletics Facility by the IAAF.[6] Besides opening/closing ceremonies and athletics, the football finals were also held at the Taipei Stadium.


According to the Organising Committee's estimates, based on a 2:1 ratio of athletes to volunteers, the Games required approximately 3,000 volunteers. The volunteers were grouped into 3 categories: regular, foreign language and sign language volunteers, all must accept 120 hours training, including basic, work-specific and sign language trainings. The Taipei Deaflympics have received over 8,000 volunteer applications.[7]

Deaflympics Arts Month

The Organising Committee has designated August 2009 as the "Taipei Deaflympics Arts Month", during which famous artists and art groups are invited to perform at the Taipei Arena, such as A-mei, Blue Man Group, Dynamic Yunnan, and Minghuayuan.[8] The "Taipei International Deaf Culture Fair" was also held, with a series of exhibitions and activities that promoted understanding of the Deaf culture.


The banyan leaf and azalea flower worn by the mascots are Taipei's official tree and flower.
The banyan leaf and azalea flower worn by the mascots are Taipei's official tree and flower.


The emblem comes from the shape of the Chinese character for north (Chinese: ; pinyin: běi; Wade–Giles: pei3), representing the host city Taipei (Chinese: 臺北; pinyin: Táiběi; Wade–Giles: Tʻai²-pei³), with an ear representing the Deaflympics, and a figure as the main body representing the athletes. The design uses the blue, white and red color scheme of the national flag and simple, flowing calligraphic lines, evoking the "image of running man". It symbolizes the courageous spirits of the athletes as they excel and meet the challenges as well as the vitality of Taiwan.


The 2009 Summer Deaflympics motto is "Power in me!". The Chinese version is "無聲的力量" (literally, "The Power of Silence").


The Games' mascots are one male and one female Taipei green treefrogs. The mascots have their arms wide open, in a welcoming pose that looks like the Chinese character "北", which represents the host city Taipei.

A mascot naming contest was held by the Organising Committee. The names chosen are "Peace" for the male frog mascot and "Love" for the female frog mascot.[9][10]

Theme song

The theme song is "Dreams You Can Hear" (Chinese: 聽得見的夢想), performed by A-mei.[11]


Sponsors of the 2009 Summer Deaflympics
Official Partners
Official Sponsors
Corporate Sponsors
  • Importek
  • 360 Digital Media
  • Matthew Beaux-arts
  • Rich Jade
  • HeimaVista
  • Living Mall


The various sports offered at the 2009 Summer Deaflympics were held in 20 disciplines, including 15 individual sports and 5 team sports:[12]

Individual sports

Team sports


The Games were held in 22 venues, most of which located in Taipei City and Taipei County (now New Taipei City). Some events were held in Taoyuan County and Hsinchu County, namely swimming and water polo in Hsinchu County Swimming Plaza, shooting in Taoyuan County Gongxi Shooting Range, and tennis (backup venue for rain) in Taoyuan campus of National Taiwan Sport University.[13]

Participating Deaf Sports Federations

80 Deaf Sports Federations have registered with ICSD:[1]

Opening ceremonies

The Organising Committee of the 21st Summer Deaflympics recruited acclaimed Taiwanese playwright and theatre director Dr. Stan Lai as the Games' Art Director, and to orchestrate the opening and closing ceremonies.[14][15]

According to Stan Lai, ceremony general director, the opening of the Deaflympics will be a "memorable event that will call forth the beauty of the human heart and reach out to the deaf community." It will be divided into 12 acts, including a performance titled "Impossible Dream" by renowned Taiwanese model Patina Lin. Completely covered in body paint, Lin will float across a 50-meter projection screen to create the illusion of a goddess walking through air and water. She will also perform along with children from schools for the hearing-impaired, using sign language to express the message of "Power in Me," Lai said.[16]

World-renowned deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie has been invited to perform at the opening ceremony, as well as the local drumming group U-Theatre, and more than 80 children from schools for the hearing-impaired in Taipei and Taichung cities, according to Lai.[16]

The team from the People's Republic of China did not attend the opening ceremony. Neither side has officially given the reason, although most news sites are attributing it to the Dalai Lama's recent trip to Taiwan.[17][18][19][20] The People's Republic of China had previously not attended the opening of the World Games which was held in Kaohsiung earlier in the year.[21] Nonetheless, China has sent 63 hearing impaired dancers from the Mainland China to perform the "1,000 hand Bodhisattva" at the ceremony.[22]

Closing Ceremonies

In a creative move, a banquet where 12 typical Taiwanese dishes were served at 350 tables dominated the closing ceremony for the 11-day event in Taipei. The parades, fireworks and arts performances usually seen at such events were also present, but played a secondary role. The menu for the banquet included peanuts from Yunlin County, beef noodles, pineapple cakes, highland tea, and mango shaved ice, accompanied by pearl milk tea and vinegar-based fruit drinks. Some of the foods had been seen at the September 5th opening in a plastic and cloth version during a show representing the best of Taiwanese cuisine and culture. While the athletes tucked into the local delicacies, the 14,000 members of the public were able to exchange their tickets for food valued at NT$200 per person.

Performances including Taiwanese opera from the famous Ming Hwa Yuan troupe, lion dances, drums, and three songs, including the closing theme song of the 2009 Deaflympics, from Aaron Kwok, a pop star from Hong Kong. He said with passion, "I witnessed a successful closing ceremony tonight. Just like I've said during the performance, the Deaflympics touches our heart and Taipei has touched the world."[23] A movie was also presented depicting the athletic highlights of the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.

At the end, the flag was passed on to the Greek capital of Athens, the host of the 2013 Summer Deaflympics scheduled for 2013. The fourth Deaflympics in the Asia-Pacific region will also be preserved in history as the best ever for host Chinese Taipei, which won 11 gold medals, 11 silvers and 11 bronzes. The country placed fifth for the number of medals won, with Russia coming first after collecting 29 golds, 40 silvers and 28 bronzes. Ukraine came second, South Korea third, and the People's Republic of China fourth.

Chinese Taipei's strongest performances were on show in bowling, table tennis, and taekwondo, the Korean martial art that has also brought success to Taipei athletes at Olympic Games. One Taipei athlete alone, Chang Yao-chien, collected four golds in women's bowling. Nevertheless, the country still fell narrowly short of its self-set goal of 12 gold medals, which officials blamed on the limited source of talent available.

On the political side of the sporting event, the People's Republic of China announced earlier it would be present for the closing ceremony, after having missed the opening, widely thought to have been planned that way to avoid the presence of President Ma Ying-jeou. The team's deputy leader, Zhao Sujing, told reporters that the 78 Chinese participants had to come together in Beijing from all parts of China first, and that problems with airline ticketing had caused them to miss earlier flights to Taipei. However, more than ten athletes were to be present in Taiwan to participate in the closing ceremony. The People's Republic of China won 12 golds, nine silver and 17 bronze medals, or double its amount at the Melbourne Deaflympics four years ago. Praising the organization, International Committee of Sports for the Deaf President Donalda Ammons used sign language to say "the Taipei Deaflympics were the best ever."

She received the keys to Taipei and the honorary citizenship of the city from the hands of Mayor of Taipei Hau Lung-pin. He bestowed similar honors on other ICSD officials, including executive member and China team leader Yang Yang, the first-ever Chinese citizen to receive honorary citizenship in Taipei.

Overall, most regarded the ceremony as a success. The only "unwelcome intrusion to an otherwise perfect ending was the deportation of a Spanish athlete for alleged sexual harassment of a volunteer."[24]

Medal Tally

  *   Host nation (Chinese Taipei)

2009 Summer Deaflympics medal table
1 Russia (RUS)29412999
2 Ukraine (UKR)20222567
3 South Korea (KOR)1413734
4 China (CHN)1291738
5 Chinese Taipei (TPE)*11111234
6 Belarus (BLR)106723
7 United States (USA)105722
8 South Africa (RSA)82212
9 Japan (JPN)56920
10 Sweden (SWE)52310
11 Turkey (TUR)46818
12 Italy (ITA)45514
13 France (FRA)42612
14 Estonia (EST)4228
15 Kenya (KEN)4217
16 Germany (GER)381223
17 Iran (IRI)35513
18 Australia (AUS)3216
19 Venezuela (VEN)3126
20 Lithuania (LTU)24713
21 Latvia (LAT)2305
22 Hungary (HUN)2035
23 Cuba (CUB)2024
 Portugal (POR)2024
25 Norway (NOR)2002
26 Great Britain (GBR)14510
27 Poland (POL)1214
28 Bulgaria (BUL)1135
29 Mongolia (MGL)1034
30  Switzerland (SUI)1023
31 New Zealand (NZL)1012
 Puerto Rico (PUR)1012
33 Croatia (CRO)1001
 Finland (FIN)1001
 Netherlands (NED)1001
36 Greece (GRE)0235
37 Canada (CAN)0202
 Nigeria (NGR)0202
39 Ireland (IRL)0112
 Malaysia (MAS)0112
 Serbia (SRB)0112
42 Czech Republic (CZE)0101
 Slovakia (SVK)0101
 Spain (ESP)0101
45 Argentina (ARG)0022
 Austria (AUT)0022
47 Brazil (BRA)0011
 Denmark (DEN)0011
 Hong Kong (HKG)0011
 India (IND)0011
 Kazakhstan (KAZ)0011
 Kyrgyzstan (KGZ)0011
 Mexico (MEX)0011
 Saudi Arabia (KSA)0011
 Uzbekistan (UZB)0011
Totals (55 NOCs)178176209563


In the following calendar for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics, each blue box represents an event competition. The yellow boxes represent days during which medal-awarding finals for a sport are held. The number in each yellow box represents the number of finals that are contested on that day.[25][26]*

 ●  Opening ceremony      Event competitions      Event finals  ●  Closing ceremony
September 2009  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th Gold
Opening Ceremony
Closing Ceremony
Athletics 2 9 7 5 9 9 4 43
Badminton 1 5 6
Basketball 2 2
Beach Volleyball 2 2
Bowling 2 2 4 2 10
Cycling Road 1 1 1 1 4
Football 1 1 2
Handball 1 1
Judo 4 4 2 10
Karate 2 3 5
Orienteering 2 2 2 2 8
Shooting 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 10
Swimming 6 6 7 7 5 7 38
Table Tennis 2 1 2 2 7
Taekwondo 2 2 2 1 7
Tennis 1 2 2 5
Volleyball 2 2
Water Polo 1 1
Wrestling 4 3 4 3 14
Total 177

See also


  1. ^ a b FAQ - 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009 Archived June 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Taipei 2009". Deaflympics. International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Bidding History - 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009". Archived from the original on 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
  4. ^ "38th Congress Minutes - Sundsvall". Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  5. ^ "Youth Daily News". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  6. ^ "IAAF Certificates". Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  7. ^ "2009 Summer Deaflympics Volunteers Website". Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  8. ^ "President joined 4 kilometer run to promote Taipei Deaflympics - The China Post". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
  9. ^ "Taipei Deaflympics Mascot Names Revealed: 「Peace」 and 「Love」". Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  10. ^ "Taipei Deaflympics Mascot Naming Contest". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  11. ^ Dreams You Can Hear MV on YouTube
  12. ^ General Technical Rules - Summer Deaflympics Archived January 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Venues - 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009 Archived June 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Deaflympics expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors: organizer - The China Post
  15. ^ "Tickets for Taipei Deaflympics Opening Ceremony Go on Sale in May; All Sports Competitions Free to the Public". Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
  16. ^ a b "Chinese team will not attend Deaflympics opening: organizers". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  17. ^ "Chinese team will not attend Deaflympics opening: organizers - The China Post". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  18. ^ "Taipei Times - archives". September 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  19. ^ "Radio Taiwan International". Archived from the original on 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  20. ^ "China punishes Taiwan over Dalai Lama visit | Taiwan News | 2009-08-31 00:00:00".
  21. ^ "China boycotts opening of Taiwan-hosted games - World Updates | The Star Online". Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  22. ^ "Mainland performance presented at Taipei Deaflympics opening_English_Xinhua". Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  23. ^ Anna Hung. "ICSD President impressed by Taipei". Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  24. ^ The China Post news staff. "Unforgettable close to Taipei's best-ever Deaflympics." The China Post. 16. September 2009. Retrieved from
  25. ^ "Program Schedule - 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009". Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
  26. ^ "Sports - 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009". Archived from the original on 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
Preceded by2005XXMelbourne Summer Deaflympics XXITaipei Succeeded by2013XXIISofia/Füssen