Germantown resident will no longer board in Slovakia
Deaflympics canceled one week before games
The 2011 Winter Deaflympic Games planned for Feb. 18-27 in Slovakia have been canceled, leaving Lauren Benedict, who would have represented the U.S. in the women's snowboarding completion, with nowhere to compete.
Benedict, a Gallaudet University student and resident of Germantown, was in complete shock when she found out, she wrote in an e-mail.
"I was definitely prepared, and being in the top-shape for the Olympics," she wrote.
The executive board of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf announced Friday that the games would not go on because the Slovakia Deaflympic Organizing Committee failed to organize the event properly and pay contractors on time.
This was not the first time the international committee announced this year's games would be canceled. It announced May 11 the event was canceled, and then said Dec. 3 that it would go on.
After arriving in Slovakia this month, the committee canceled the games again.
Benedict does not think the games will be rescheduled.
She does not know yet what will happen with her travel arrangements and fundraising money, she wrote.
But she remains positive.
"[I'm] beyond disappointed," she wrote, "but I told myself everything happens for a reason and there must be a lot of great reasons why this didn't happen, and it just motivates me to do better in 2015."
The next Winter Deaflympics will be held Feb. 6-14, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to the Deaflympics website.