In a video released yesterday, Deaf International Basketball Federation Secretary-General Jürgen Endress expressed his happiness with International Olympic Committee and International Committee of Sports for the Deaf signing a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this month in Switzerland. Jürgen Endress got goosebumps after reading the MOU between the IOC and the ICSD. He considers it a huge milesone for deaf sports, like buying a foundation for a house after owning the land. According to Endress, every addendum on the MoU allows the ICSD to add walls, a roof and to build their house or castle.
The MoU was announced on March 25. It says both organizations share the same objectives of promoting for and exercise for the well of society, and acknowledges the ICSD’s role as the global governing body for deaf sport. The partnership between the IOC and ICSD is important because this provides opportunities for contracts to support events like the Deaf World Youth Games and to assist in the continued promotion of deaf sport in underfunded regions like Africa by providing additional financial support.
The MoU comes with contractual obligations for both sides, enforceable by the laws of Switzerland and the Court of Arbitration of Sports so long as the ICSD continues to be recognized as a member of the IOC. Part C of the MoU makes clear this document came about as a result of Recommendation 7 of the Olympic Agenda 2000, which calls for greater support in managing sport for people with different types of abilities and working together with organizations that support these sports.
The IOC and ICSD have had good relations for many years. At 50th session of the IOC in Paris in June 1955, the ICSD was recognized as an international sport federation for the deaf. The ICSD was awarded the Coubertin Cup in 1966 for their adherence to Olympic ideals. Starting in 1985, the flag of the IOC has flown at all Deaflympic Games, and in May 2001, the IOC gave the ICSD permission to change the name of the Deaf World Games to the Deaflympics.