February 18, 2011
Over 20 members of the Japanese National Team including the staff for the Deaflympic Winter Games returned home from Slovakia on February 18.
They were to compete for snowboard, the cross-country, and alpine. When arriving at New Tokyo International Airport at Narita, they met the staff from the Japanese Federation of the Deaf and held each other even with floating tears. They had stayed in Slovakia until February 12, and learned the cancellation of the Games later.
The International Sports Committee of the Deaf (ICSD) says that they have filed criminal charges against the Slovakia organization committee, etc. responsible for the management.
HARADA Noboru (34), captain of the team, who was aiming at the 3rd straight victory with snowboard, said, "The dream has gone. It is still hard to believe it".
One of the staff said with anger, "There was no snow in ski slopes, and neither the course was prepared. We suspected that from the beginning the Slovakian group was not much motivated".
YAMANE Shoji, JFD sports chairman who led the national team, spoke, "It is regrettable that we the team had to come home in such shape as we eagerly left for Slovakia".