By Duncan Mackay

ICSD logoDecember 26 - Australian Dean Barton-Smith and South African Terence Parkin have been officially appointed as the new interim joint chairmen of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) Athletes Commission. 

They will hold the positions until the Deaflympics in Sofia, which are due to be held next year, when a new Athletes Commission is expected to be elected.

Barton-Smith became the first deaf athlete to represent Australia in the Olympics when he competed in the decathlon at Barcelona in 1992.

He also competed in the 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games in Auckland and Victoria and has won medals at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.

Barton-Smith was also the founding chairman of the Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics, spearheading the campaign which saw more than $8.15 million (£5.05 million/€6.16 million) raised to stage what is widely considered to be the best Games in the history of the ICSD.

Parkin, one of the world's best known deaf athletes, won an Olympic silver medal in the 200 metres breaststroke at Sydney in 2000. 

Terence Parkin with Olympic silver medal Sydney 2000Terence Parkin celebrates winning the Olympic silver medal at Sydney 2000

"Both Dean and Terence are generally well-known within the Olympics and Deaflympics circles and are well-respected for their achievements in athletics and swimming," said Craig Cowley, President of  ICSD.

"I am confident that they will make a big impact in getting our athletes recognised within the Deaflympics Movement and beyond.

"Dean and Terence will also help ICSD continue along the path towards being a more athlete-driven organisation."

With Parkin focusing on training for the Sofia 2013 Deaflympics, Barton-Smith will report to the ICSD Executive Board on the Commission's work throughout the interim period.

"Athletes need to be at the heart of ICSD's work," said Barton-Smith.

"ICSD's ongoing governance review is a great opportunity to make some changes.

"Together, we make sure that athletes are consulted on key decisions and I'm delighted to have this chance to make sure that consultation happens."

The Sofia 2013 Deaflympics are due to place from July 26 to August 4, featuring more than 3,000 athletes in 17 sports.

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