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KHANTY-MASIYSK, April 5. /TASS/. The 2015 Winter Deaflympics held in held in Khanty-Mansiysk, in western Siberia, and Magnitogorsk, in the Urals, between March 28 and April 5 have been declared closed on Sunday by President of the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf Valery Rukhledev.
The closing ceremony began with a pageant, which was followed by the presentation of the 27 participating nations. After a parade of participants, a prize giving ceremony to the winners of men’s and ladies’ boardcross was held. Medals to the winners were awarded by President of the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf Valery Rukhledev, acting governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous area /Yugra/ Natalia Komarova and President of the Russian Deaflympic Committee Alexander Romantsov.
At the end of the ceremony, Romantsov handed over the flag of the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf to its President Valery Rukhledev.
Over 2,000 participants from around the globe competed for 31 sets of medals in cross-country skiing, snowboarding, curling, ice hockey and alpine skiing. The Russian delegation to the prestigious international sports event consisted of 188 athletes, including 25 ice hockey players, 15 snowboarders, 14 skiers, 12 alpine skiers and 11 more athletes in reserve.
The Russian team won 12 gold, six silver and 12 bronze medals at the 2015 Winter Deaflympics.
The Deaflympics is an international elite sports event sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee /IOC/ and was previously known as the World Games for the Deaf or International Games for the Deaf.
This is a separate event from the Paralympic Games and participants in the competition must have a hearing loss of at least 55 db in their better ear in order to qualify for the quadrennial tournament. During the competitions the Deaflympians cannot be guided by sounds, including by referee whistles, bullhorns or starter’s guns and they must not use cochlear implants or any other hearing aid devices in order to equalize all participants.
The previous Winter Deaflympics, held once in four years since 1949, were scheduled to take place in Slovakia but were cancelled shortly before the opening due to emerged financial difficulties at a local level.