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Deaflympics expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors: organizer

Hong Kong -- The 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei 2009, which will be held in Asia for the first time, are expected to attract some 10,000 athletes and visitors to Taiwan, according to organizers.

Emile C. J. Sheng, CEO of the Taipei Deaflympics Organizing Committee, said in Hong Kong Sunday that all the venues for the Taipei Deaflympics are fully functional and the main task at this stage is to train 8,600 volunteers for the upcoming event.

A series of large-scale promotional performances will also be staged during the run-up to the games, which are scheduled for Sept. 5-15, Sheng added.

Well-known Taiwanese stage director Lai Sheng-chuan will be in charge of the artistic components of the Deaflympics opening and closing ceremonies, said Sheng who was in Hong Kong for Deaflympics promotion.

According to Sheng, Taiwan singer A-mei has been invited to perform at the opening ceremony.

In addition, he said, the committee has invited Hong Kong pop star Aaron Kwok to serve as a spokesperson for the Deaflympics.

The Deaflympics date back to 1924, when they were held for the first time in Paris. In 1995, they received official recognition from the International Olympics Committee and today, 96 national deaf sports federations are members of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf.

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