Saturday, July 28, 2012

Deaf Participation in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony

Beijing 2008 Olympic Cupcake
Photo via Flickr user clevercupcakes
Like many others, I watched the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony last night. I love the Olympics and especially like the opening and closing ceremonies. One thing that caught my eye was the inclusion of the deaf in the opening ceremonies. I did a little bit of research into those participants and thought I would share.

Evelyn Glennie (website)
Dame Evelyn Glennie led 1,000 drummers into the Industrial Revolution portion of the Opening Ceremonies with a catchy, thumping drum beat. It was very visually striking as Evelyn was above the actual stage while actors portrayed the movement into the Industrial Revolution.

Evelyn has been profoundly deaf since she was eleven years old. She is Scottish, and grew up in Aberdeenshire. According to Evelyn,
First and foremost I am a sound creator. Everything I do is derived from sound in spite of my profound deafness. I strive to explore every sound avenue and surface including design, technology and physicality. I enjoy the challenge of creating a 'no-fuss' approach and relish the idea of building a global legacy brand that will live long after I have departed the stage.
Evelyn has written an excellent essay that touches upon her deafness and how it is often misunderstood. Her Hearing Essay can be found here (pdf) and eloquently explains how both deaf and hearing people act upon their perceptions of the world around them.

Kaos Singing Choir for Deaf & Hearing Children (website)
This choir, dressed in pajamas, performed the British national anthem for the Queen during the Opening Ceremonies. They performed the anthem in English and BSL.

According to their website, the Kaos Singing Choir has over 200 participants and is "the only integrated deaf and hearing children’s choir in the UK."

They have some music tracks (Songs of Kaos) and videos on their website here to give a watch/listen.


  1. Megan,
    What a lovely post - thank you so much for your research. Lori

  2. Thanks for sharing Megan. I am was born hard of hearing, my audiogram is about the same will have to look it up. I thank you for your research.

  3. Thanks for compiling this info! I'm adding it to my FB page for others to read about.


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