Wed, Sep 16, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DEAFLYMPICS TAIPEI 2009: Deaflympics close with culinary climax

TASTING TAIWAN While watching the performances, athletes enjoyed local treats including steamed buns, tempura fish cakes, beef noodle soup and bubble tea

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Participants in the 2009 Taipei Deaflympics are treated to a banquet of Taiwanese dishes at the closing ceremony of the Games at Taipei Municipal Stadium yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Thousands of spectators and athletes gathered at Taipei Municipal Stadium last night to celebrate as the 2009 Summer Deaflympics came to a close.

The Russian Federation bagged the most golds and the most medals at the Games — 29 gold, 41 silver and 28 bronze for a total of 98 medals.

Second and third in terms of gold medals were Ukraine and South Korea, with 20 and 14 medals respectively. Taiwan ranked fifth with 33 medals in total — 11 gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze.

The closing festivities included drummers from U Theatre (優人神鼓), the Minghuayuan (明華園) Taiwanese Opera Troupe and Hong Kong singer Aaron Kwok (郭富城).

While watching the performances, athletes enjoyed a banquet of 11 traditional Taiwanese dishes and desserts. Organizers designed the closing ceremony to be unique, and it was the first time a banquet had been held for the celebration.

The dishes included steamed buns, tempura fish cakes, beef noodle soup, minced pork with rice, mango shaved ice, bubble tea and other treats. Each athlete also received pineapple cakes, nougat, coffee-flavored plums and oolong tea to take home.

Spectators in the stands each received a box of snacks and a glowing tambourine during the festivities.

Athletes celebrated the conclusion of the Games by dancing along with the cheerleaders, forming long lines and weaving in and out among the tables.

The Widex Fair Play Award went to Gabor Mathe of Hungary, who won the bronze in the men’s singles tennis.

Mathe took home US$5,000 in prize money. The winner of the award must be under 25 years old or younger and demonstrate sportsmanship, respect and fairness in the Olympic spirit.

The sports director and president of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) reviews nominations submitted by ICSD technical directors in each sport. The final nominee is selected and presented to the Widex representative for approval.

ICSD president Donalda Ammons also presented Athens as the host city of 2013 Summer Deaflympics.

The Chinese delegation, which did not attend the opening ceremony on Sept. 5, did show up for the closing ceremony. Deputy director of the Chinese Deaflympics team Zhao Su-jing (趙素京) said at a press conference before the closing ceremony that the team still had about 52 competitors and staff in Taipei who would attend.

The Chinese team did not carry the Chinese flag upon entering the stadium, instead holding up a banner reading: “Go, Taiwanese compatriots in the disaster zone.”

China attended neither the opening nor closing ceremonies of the World Games in Kaohsiung in July.

Zhao said China sent 78 athletes to the Games this year.

As they were from different provinces and had to gather in Beijing before coming to Taiwan, the team had not been able to make it to the opening ceremony, she said.

Also See: DEAFLYMPICS TAIPEI 2009: Ukraine wins Taipei soccer gold

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