Cycling at the Deaflympics

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The 2009 Taipei Deaflympics began with the opening ceremony held at the new Taipei Stadium last night. Today the sporting events began and I went to see the cycling held at Taipei City Hall. The men’s 1,000 metre sprint cycling race began with heats in the morning and then finals in the afternoon. This event is usually held on a velodrome, however Taipei obviously lacks a suitable facility so competitors raced on the road in front of Taipei City Hall.

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After all the heats it was down to four riders to compete in the best-of-three finals. It was a battle between representatives of two Francophone countries for the bronze medal. Steeve Touboul of France competed against Simon Gagnon-Brassard of Canada with the French rider victorious.

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Paul Wood of the USA and Kirill Ivanovich Pestov of the Russian Federation raced for gold and silver. Victory went to the USA.

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The three medalists enjoy their success on the podium. They were the first athletes to be awarded medals at the Taipei Deaflympics.

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This young lady was responsible for carrying the medals during the medal awards ceremony.

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Gold medalist Paul Wood is pictured above giving a post race interview. The interview was conducted in sign language with interpretation into English. The Taipei Deaflympics is the sixth time 41 year old Wood has competed in the Deaflympics. He carried the flag for the US team at the opening ceremony. In previous Deaflympics Wood has collected a total of four gold medals along with four silvers and one bronze. He will compete in more cycling events at in Taipei and could well add to his medal tally.

Results of the men’s 1,000 metre sprint cycling race

  1. Paul Wood (USA)
  2. Kirill Ivanovich Pestov (RUS)
  3. Steeve Touboul (FRA)
  4. Simon Gagnon-Brassard (CAN)

*More photos in the Deaflympics set at flickr.

Update: Daniel Carruthers, a Deaflympics competitor from New Zealand, adds the following information (via Brian Webb’s blog).

Hi David, I read your posting about the Deaflympics Cycling event and noticed that you commented that Taipei lacks a velodrome facility, while this is true, there is a track venue about 1hr away from Taipei.

Traditionally at Deaflympics, the 1000m sprint is done on road bikes and for the most part on the road. Just like you saw at the Taipei City Centre. The reason for racing on road bikes is because there is not enough “specialist” Deaf Track riders in the world to support track bikes on a velodrome. If everyone of us was required to bring a track-bike, then many of us will be bringing three bikes to compete on.

I thought that the location at the City Hall was a great one. Easy access for people of Taipei to spectate and enjoy the thrill of high speed racing. The 50km points race was also held at the same venue on a 1km circuit.

I represented New Zealand at the Deaflympics and have decided to stay on here in Taipei. If you have time, please send me a message on gmail. Thanks.

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  1. Pingback: 2009 Deaf Olympics, Taipei: Hanging Around the Egg | Brian Q. Webb

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