Deaflympics Wrap Up Report
As celebrations drew to a close on the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey, Australian Deaf athletes have had the opportunity to reflect on their achievements both in the lead up to, and during the games.
For the Deaf athletes sponsored by Deaf Services Queensland, the journey to Turkey represented an opportunity to not only improve their athletic skills but their ability to face new situations, cultures, and challenges with determination and courage.
For the Goannas, the Australian men’s Deaf basketball team, there was the opportunity to play against stronger teams, extend their game experience and enhance team cohesion. The Goannas put in five valiant performances over the course of the Games and managed to secure a win against Kenya.
For 100 metre sprinter, Sekou Kanneh, injury meant that his bid for gold at the Deaflympics was tragically cut short. Sekou was disappointed to have missed the opportunity to compete in such a great field of athletes and is now re-focusing his training efforts for the next Deaflympics.
Jamie Howell came ninth in her qualifier for the long jump, narrowly missing a chance to represent Australia in the finals but satisfied with her performance, achieving a personal best in the event. Jamie will now return to her studies so that she can achieve her dream of being a Physical Education teacher and inspiring and motivating other Deaf athletes.
While the Australian athletes might not have returned with the gold, they have returned richer for the experience. Travelling to another country and building contacts amongst the international Deaf community is always a worthwhile pursuit and can only serve to enhance the connectedness, empowerment, and achievement felt by those who participated in the 2017 Deaflympics.