Wed, Jul 29, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Deaflympics vow to rival Games

RED TAPEThe person in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies said that government regulations on spending were making things very difficult for him

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A police officer at the Zhongshan Precinct demonstrates the use of an under-vehicle search mirror during a security drill at the Miramar Garden hotel in Taipei yesterday in the run-up to September’s Deaflympics.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

A month-long series of promotional performances will be held next month in the lead-up to the Summer Deaflympics, which will be held in September in Taipei. The organizers said the activities will rival those seen at the World Games in ­Kaohsiung and create unforgettable memories for everyone.

Taiwanese opera performing group Ming Hwa Yuan (明華園) will launch the activities on Aug. 2 at Liberty Square. Admission will be free.

The group will give the same performance on Aug. 8 at Taipei Arena.

A creative organization, the Blue Man Group, will put on a show at Taipei Arena from Aug. 11 through Aug. 23 before Chinese dance troupe Dynamic Yunnan (雲南映象) showcases its repertoire of traditional and modern dance numbers on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30.

Theater director Stan Lai (賴聲川), the coordinator of the opening and closing ceremonies, said the venue for the event, the Taipei Track and Field Stadium, was smaller than that at the World Games. However, he said that that his team was determined to pull all the stops to present the best of Taiwan to the world.

Describing himself as a playwright, stage director and storyteller, Lai said he designed 12 acts for the opening ceremony, each reflecting different aspects of Taiwan’s beauty.

Lai nevertheless expressed frustration at the red tape surrounding the project, saying that all hiring and expenses must comply with the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法).

“It is something new and incomprehensible to me,” he said. “It’s been very hard to get the people that I want — not to mention the money that is needed. Everything is proceeding in a state of chaos.”

Emile Sheng (盛治仁), CEO of the Taipei Deaflympics Organizing Committee, said 9,768 people have expressed an interest in volunteering for the event, but that only 6,000 or 7,000 would be needed.

While the main task at this stage is teaching volunteers sign language, Sheng said that about 1,000 university students majoring in foreign languages would be at hand to offer translation services.

Sheng said that while it was unlikely that volunteers would be taught the different sign languages used around the world, improvised body language would come in handy.

Sheng said most events would be held in Taipei City, while the marathon, beach volleyball, bowling and cycling would take place in Taipei County. Swimming events and water sports will be held in Hsinchu County and shooting events and tennis in Taoyuan County.

The Deaflympics will be held between Sept. 5 and Sept. 15. It will be the first time the event is held in Asia. Organizers said half the tickets have been sold, adding that with the launch of promotional events next Monday, all the tickets should be sold within two weeks.

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