By Duncan Mackay

Khanty-Mansiysk will host the 2015 Winter Deaflympics after Vancouver withdrew ©WikipediaJanuary 24 - Russia's Khanty-Mansiysk is the new host of the 2015 Winter Deaflympics, it has been announced.

They have stepped into replace Vancouver, who were originally awarded the Games in 2010 only for the Canadian Deaf Sports Association to withdraw the following year because of problems with local organisers.

It will be the first time the Winter Deaflympics have been held since Salt Lake City staged the event in 2007.

The 2011 edition was cancelled because of problems with the preparations in Vysoké Tatry in Slovakia and which led to Jaromír Ruda, President of the Local Organising Committee, being found guilty of defrauding the event €1.6 million (£1.3 million/$2.2 million) and being sentenced to 13 years in prison. 

So the decision of the Russian oil-boom town, the administrative centre of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, located on the eastern bank of the Irtysh River, stepping in will be of huge relief to Deaflympics organisers.

The Games, the 18th edition since the first at Seefeld in Norway in 1949, are due to be held between February 27 and March 7 next year.

It will feature five sports: cross-country skiing, snowboard, curling, alpine skiing and ice hockey.

Khanty-Mansiysk has hosted the biathlon World Cup ©AFP/Getty ImagesKhanty-Mansiysk has hosted the biathlon World Cup ©AFP/Getty Images

The town has previously hosted an edition of the biathlon World Cup.

The confirmation that Khanty-Mansiysk, where an iconic 920 foot high tower designed by Sir Norman Foster is currently under construction, will host the Games followed a meeting between Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and Valery Rukhledev, President of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) and the Russian Committee of Deaf Sports.

The meeting was also attended by Natalia Komarova, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.

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