Inaugural World Deaf Youth Games Transform Sao Paulo, Brazil

Two swimmers handshake in the pool after competed
Brazilian hits the birdie
A girl sprints to the finish while others behind

In a major milestone for deaf athletes worldwide, the first-ever World Deaf Youth Games (WDYG) are happening in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Organized by the Brazilian Deaf Sports Confederation (CBDS), this historic event is taking place at the Brazilian Paralympic Center, equipped with top-notch facilities.

The WDYG aims to give young deaf athletes a chance to experience high-level international competition, preparing them for future events like the Deaflympics. Beyond sports, it's an opportunity for personal and professional growth, creating lasting connections.

During the six-day event from 15 to 20 January 2024, participants attended workshops on important topics like anti-doping, ethics, athletes' commission, social media, international sign, and ICSD structures. This educational component helps athletes handle challenges in their careers.

Beyond competition, the host volunteers warmly welcomed athletes, offering solid support to help them perform at their best. Additionally, they encouraged athletes to make friends through friendly games and shared experiences. Many deaf athletes, who had not competed in international competition, broadened their horizons by witnessing elite competitors from outside their country, surpassing their imaginations and motivating themselves to train harder.

In addition to the special event for the Deaf Youth, this occasion marks the 100th anniversary of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and its first international event for our youth deaf athletes. A true visionary, Eugene Ruben-Alcais, a deaf who brought nine European nations participating in the first games, known as the International Silent Games, held in 1924 in Paris.

This historic event not only celebrates the successes of young athletes but also promotes inclusivity, providing a global stage for deaf youth. The success of the World Deaf Youth Games sets the foundation for future collaboration and growth in the deaf sports community.

Key Highlights:

  • Participants: 71 young deaf athletes
  • Representing: 16 countries
  • Sports: Athletics, 3X3 Basketball, Badminton, Swimming
  • Age: 14 to 18 years