Irish Times: Thumbs up for Ireland’s Deaflympians

imageJoseph Watson from Waterford has been a top Irish footballer since he was 19 and will compete in his fourth Deaflympics for Ireland in Bulgaria this summer.

On the pitch in Sofia flags will be waved to signal play instead of whistles blown. At the starting line on the athletics track, replacing the blast of a gun the flash of a light will signal Go as the 22nd Deaflympics gets under way.

Previously called the World Games for the Deaf, the four-yearly event for athletes who are deaf has been running since 1924 and despite being less well known or publicised compared to the Paralympics and Special Olympics, the games are the second longest-running International Olympic Council-accredited event after the main Olympics.

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