Read transcript here:
Hello athletes, coaches, National Sport Organizations (NSOs for short), trainers, medical personnel, support staff, family members and especially fans.
My name is Danny Lacey, and I am currently on the board of USA Deaf Sports Federation. USA Deaf Sports for short.
This Summer the 23rd Summer Deaflympics will be held in Samsun, Turkey (spelled out and then showed local sign for Samsun). It will start on July 18 and end on July 30, 2017.
As always, USADSF has planned to send Team USA to the Deaflympics. However, the planning process faced several challenges. Those challenges are:
1- The challenge of receiving information from the International Committee Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) and from the Turkey Organizing Committee - this has been very slow and limited information. Both ICSD and the Turkey Organizers have gone through some turnovers, and just recently the Turkey Organizers have now been disseminating more information because of a new committee put in place by the Turkish government. USADSF has consistently maintained a frequent contact with everyone in ICSD and Turkey to get any information possible and quickly to share with Team USA as much as we can. USADSF aims to be as transparent and informative as possible within our means.
2- Safety and Security: You may have heard in the American media TV newspapers social media about bombings, terrorist attacks, and ISIS occupation throughout parts of Turkey. USADSF has been proactively communicating with the Department of State, other federal officials, ICSD, the Turkey Organizing Committee and other country deaf sport federations to examine the safety of sending an American delegation into a country that has shown unstable. We are extremely sensitive and deeply value the safety and security of our team members. In attempts for answers to our grave concerns, USADSF has sent official leadership to Turkey several times. In February 2017 we again sent 3 team officials to Samsun. They took pictures and videos which has been posted on Facebook. Those three officials wore apparel with American flags and travelled through two Turkish airports, walked around town, rode public transportation and interacted with local people. They felt safe and welcomed.
In addition, the Turkish Organizing Committee has informed USADSF that they will be employing a large number of security assigned to our team members to ensure their safety during the Deaflympics.
3- Fundraising: this has always been a challenge every international competition we send athletes. As you know, the US government and the US Olympic Committee does not support the deaf athletes financially. In efforts to combat this, USADSF has strived to start planning and selecting athletes as early as possible to give them years to both train and fundraise for the costs of attending/participating in the Deaflympics. USADSF works hard to build relationships with donors and take the fundraising burden off the athletes and look for donors, like you the fans who can support our athletes by donating to USADSF. This past two years has been especially challenging to fundraise with insufficient information from Turkey about the safety and security of the Deaflympics, costs to attend among other details about the games. As a result, that has created a shorter timeframe for fundraising.
In facing those three challenges, the NSOs discussed with their members and made decisions on whether to attend/participate in Team USA.
USADSF is proud to announce we are sending Team USA to the Deaflympics. Those NSOs who have decided to join Team USA are:
Men's and Women's Volleyball
Track and Field
USADSF will be launching a new website to report on the daily results of the Deaflympics. You can also "like" USADSF's Facebook page and Twitter to get more information. We will be working to keep everyone informed.
USADSF is a 501c3 tax-deductible organization. Please consider donating - even $5 will help an athlete compete in their dream to get a medal. You can donate online at www.usdeafsports.org.
Get ready to support Team USA to bring home the Gold!