The High Tatras Tourism Association (ZCR VT) has called for a thorough investigation into what exactly happened to the organisation of the 17th Winter Deaflympic Games, which were due to start on Friday 18 February but were cancelled over a funding fiasco.
The various businesses affiliated in the association are demanding that those responsible be held liable, saying that the damage done to the reputation of the High Tatras mountain resort has been particularly severe and will take a long time to restore.
The games were cancelled just a few days before they were due to start, causing substantial financial damages to deaf athletes and associations from all over the world, not to mention the psychological effect on the athletes themselves. Many countries already had their teams at the resort in preparation for the games when they were suddenly cancelled.
The High Tatras Tourism Association’s members, comprising local business, sports facility operators and hotels, said the cancellation of the games was a worldwide embarrassment, which has not only affected the deaf community, but the High Tatras as well. They also believe it will have an effect on future events of this kind being held in Slovakia.
All of the association members are set to suffer huge financial losses as reservations are cancelled and they are left with unused capacities.
The event was eventually cancelled by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf after Jaromir Ruda from the Slovak committee still had not secured funding for the event just one week before it was due to start. One week later, Ruda was arrested at the Hungarian border near Rusovce last night. A sad day for sport, for the deaf community and for Slovakia.