Category Archives: Sofia 2013

Sofia Deaflympics Final Update

The 2013 Sofia Deaflympics have come to a close. Daniel Harborne was not in Sofia to witness the closing of the Deaflympics, because he was already on his way back to New Zealand. The Opening Ceremony was held at Vasil Levski Stadium where Talor Gilmer competed in Athletics. However you can watch a recording of the live stream on YouTube.

On the 31st July, Santana Chapman had her 50m breaststroke, and the next day on the 1st August, she had he 50m freestyle. She did not qualify for the finals. Santana impressed everyone during her first Deaflympics campaign. She timed a few new personal best times, and this is really promising to see. Santana had only 18 months of training, and has been able to be competitive. She is only 15 years of age, and should be available for the next Deaflympics in 4 years time.

On the 31st July, Daniel Carruthers had his Individual Road Race. There was a bit of controversy surrounding the Men’s Individual Road race. Daniel was the first cyclist over the finish line beating 3 other cyclists behind him, with the rest of the field further back. But after the race, there was a protest made by Team Russia (who arrived second over the line) that as everyone was sprinting towards the finish line, Daniel was blocking the Russian cyclist from passing him. Unfortunately their protest succeeded and Daniel was demoted to fourth, missing out on a medal. Daniel was devastated, but he still believes that he should have been awarded the Gold medal, and he knows that he was first over the line. On the 2nd August, Daniel had his final race in the Points Race. He managed to score 8 points to get a ranking of 8th. Daniel did New Zealand proud, and he should be proud of his achievements at these Deaflympics.

On the 2nd August, Talor Gilmer had his 800m qualifying heat. He was not able to qualify for the semi finals. Talor Gilmer also impressed us, especially with his 1,500m run. Talor is another young athlete who should be able to give the Deaflympics another crack in 4 years time in 2017.

With all the races completed, our athletes are able to relax and enjoy their time. There was the opening ceremony, and some of the athletes went on to enjoy a European holiday.

We thank everyone in New Zealand, and around the world for following the New Zealand Deaflympics team. Thank you.

We would like to end the 2013 Sofia Deaflympics updates with a video clip from the outgoing ICSD President, Craig Crowley.


Sofia Deaflympics Update 3


Santana Chapman at the start of the 100m freestyle

On Monday 29th July, Santana had her first competitve swim at the Deaflympics. She had the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly heats at Spartak. The New Zealand team was supporting her from the stands. Given Santana’s age, and having only 18 months of training, she should be proud of herself. Santana had a time of 38s.07ms in the 50m butterfly. She has improved her International Deaf Swimming ranking by 4 places to be 22nd out of 40 in the 100m freestyle with a time of 1m:10s.09ms. This was her first international swim, and it was a whole new level to national swimming competitions in New Zealand.

At the same time, Daniel Carruthers had his Men’s Individual Time Trial. He came 14th with a time of 57m:51s.99ms for a 35km race.

He was only 7 minutes behind the winner from Russia, so that was still a good effort from him.


Talor with his dad after the 1500m Semi Final

The next day on Tuesday 30th July, Talor Gilmer had his 1500m Semi Final at Vasil Levski National Stadium. Again the New Zealand team were in the stands to provide support. Talor is also appreciative of the support he got from those who watched his race live on It was a very hot day with temperatures reaching 37°C! Talor has qualified for the 1500m final with a time of 4m:15s.81ms. Talor will run his 1500m final at 6pm on the 31st July (1st August 3am in New Zealand)


The three New Zealand athletes, Daniel Carruthers, Santana Chapman and Talor Gilmer

Following Talor’s race, the full New Zealand team got together for lunch. This was the first time the full team had met together, and we enjoyed sharing stories and laughter. It was good team bonding, and there are already plans for a Turkey 2017 campaign!


Team New Zealand at Sofia

I got in.

This is Talor Gilmer’s blog post about how ‘he got in’ to the 1500m final. Talor has written about his experiences in Sofia as an athlete competing at the 2013 Deaflympics.


Coming from training in 10-15deg temperature to your first real race in 5 months is no easy challenge; especially when the weather is topping out at 30-35deg. My feet are blistered, my lungs are choking from the duress, but more importantly there is a grin on my mug 🙂

My time wasn’t the best, in fact it was kinda average if I’m being honest. Tomorrow I’m expecting the two kenyans, three russians, two polish and one german to really contest for the top of the field. They’re in a class of their own. I knew I was going to be ranked just in or just out of that top 12 for the final; this time I was on the right side of the number 12 🙂

The race went through the first 700 very relaxed and cruisy; it was safe to say I was enjoying my experience out there. A…

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Sofia Deaflympics Update 2

DSCF2148On Friday 26th July we celebrated the opening of the 22nd Summer Deaflympics with an Opening Ceremony at Arena Armeec. Each country was allowed only 3 athletes, or 10% of the total of athletes to march at the Opening Ceremony. Arena Armeec was too small to allow every athlete to march, but this was perfect for the New Zealand team as we only had 3 athletes!

Daniel Carruthers had a cycling race in the morning and didn’t want the proceedings of the opening ceremony to impact on his performance. He did not come to the Opening Ceremony, so Daniel Harborne replaced him in the march. He joined Talor Gilmer and Santana Chapman for the opening ceremony with their parents watching proudly from the stand.


Santana Chapman and Talor Gilmer at the Opening Ceremony

As all the teams marched into the arena, 3 athletes from each country were ushered into the centre of the arena while the rest of the 10% were ushered back into the stands. The 3 athletes from each country were able to meet athletes from other countries. We had the Sweden team on one side and the Norway team on the otherside. This was an excellent opportunity for both Talor and Santana to polish up on their International Sign Language. It was fantastic experience for them both.


Craig Crowley and Daniel Harborne with the Deaflympics Flame

The Deaflympic flame came all the way from Paris, France where the first International Deaf Sports compeition was held in 1924. The flame started it’s journey to Sofia, Bulgaria two weeks ago and was carried by a team of cyclists to raise awareness of cycle safety as well as the Deaflympics. The flame finally arrived at the Arena and Santana was nominated from the New Zealand team to pass the Deaflympic flame from athlete to athlete to the end, where the Deaflympic flame was lit. This was a very exciting moment to be a part of. It was a proud moment to represent New Zealand. After the flame was lit there were a variety of Bulgarian cultural dances and performances.


The motorway closed for the 1000m Sprint

The next morning Daniel Carruthers was competing in the Men’s 1000m Sprint with about 30 other competitors. The race was competed on a section of the matorway that was closed off. The motorway traffic was diverted around the race. It was strange to be able to stand in the middle of a motorway.


Daniel Carruthers at the end of his 1000m Sprint

It was a highly competitive field with cyclists from all over the world. All of the qualifying times were very close, and Daniel missed out on qualification for the finals by about a seond. He put in a good effort, and is still thinking positve for the rest of the campaign. He still has 3 more races. Team NZL will be supporting him all the way.

Sofia Deaflympics Update 1

Daniel Harborne, President for Deaf Sports New Zealand went to Sofia Bulgaria to attend the 44th ICSD Congress as a delegate for New Zealand. He joined over 70 delegates/countries over 3 days for updates on International Sports, Deaflympics, as well as voting for a new board.

Before the Congress there was a full day workshop. This was an opportunity for everyone to talk about their proposals, or motions. Most of this day was focusing on the proposal from the ICSD board to overhaul the constitution. The current constitution was a very outdated and we were given 3 choices to vote on. The first choice was to leave the consitution as it is and only change the membership system. The second choice was to leave the constitution as it is and only change the by-laws. The third choice was to overhaul the contsitution.

Over the 2 day congress, some important votes were made. The third choice to overhaul the constitution was passed, and now the ICSD Board will get to work on this. This will be an transparent process, and everyone will be given 8 months to have a look at the changes and provide feedback.

The delegates also voted in a new President, as well as a few other new board members. The new ICSD President is Valery Rudhlekev from Russia. Daniel had an opportunity to meet him as well as other delegates and candidates for the board. Valery will do well for ICSD. Deaf Sports New Zealand wishes him all the best.

Voting in the new President, as well as the other board members took a very long time. There were many votes to process and eliminate. It continued up until past 8pm. It was a long day for everyone involved. Overall it was a productive congress, and the future of ICSD and International Sports is looking positive.

Tomorrow will be another big day with the Opening Ceremony, giving the athletes, officials and supporters an opportunity to meet each other. It will start at 6pm here in Sofia, Bulgaria which means 3am in New Zealand time. If you are up and keen to watch a live stream of the Opening Ceremoney, you can visit: and make sure you are watching Stream 1. You’ll also be able to see the other Deaflympics sports being live streamed here.

If you want up to date news, please search for #sofia2013 or follow Deaf Sports New Zealand @DeafSportsNZ or become a fan of the Facebook Page

2013 Deaflympics athletes from New Zealand

At the 2013 Sofia Deaflympics in Bulgaria, New Zealand will be sending three representatives to compete in three separate sports. This will be one of New Zealand’s smallest teams ever at the Deaflympics, BUT it is not the size of the team that matters… it is the potential that we have in this team.

santanachapmanName: Santana Chapman

Age: 15
Hometown: Waikanae Beach, Kapiti Coast
  • Santana is a student at Kapiti College, and she loves snow skiing, horse riding, dancing and arts. She also loves the outdoors, and listening to R&B, and hip hop music
Swim Events Competing at 2013 Deaflympics:
  • 50 free
  • 50 fly
  • 50 breast
  • 100 free
  • 200 free
  • To develop my swimming at the highest level in representing NZ and the Deaf community
  • To be a role model to inspire other Deaf youth
You can view Santana’s Profile on:

Talor GilmerName: Talor Gilmer

Age: 19
Hometown: Wellington
  • Talor is a Commerce student at Victoria University Wellington. He has been running competitively for over 5 years now and this will be his first Deaflympics (hopefully the first of many). He has had various success in Track and Field in his career, with the best highlight coming 7th in the Mens U20 1500m title in the 2012 New Zealand Track and Field Championships. In his spare time he likes to dabble in more sports! Varying from soccer to tennis to mountain biking. Sport is in his blood. He is also a big coffee fan… his sign name is actually ‘Coffee’! So he is never found far from a cafe!
Athletic Events Competing at 2013 Deaflympics:
  • 800m run
  • 1500m run

DSC_06711-212x300Name: Daniel Carruthers

Hometown: Hangzhou, China

  • Daniel is originally from Dunedin, but is now living in Hangzhou, China. Since 1997, he has spent most of his time abroad living in various countries including Israel, St Helena, China and the United States. Returning to NZ from 2004 to 2008.
  • He has several degrees, all are from Otago University:  Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management/design (1995), Diploma of Tourism (1997), Bachelor of Arts in Chinese (2004), Master of Tourism (2007). Now enrolled in a PHD program at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China where he will be looking at sports tourism.

Cycling Events Competing at the 2013 Deaflympics:

  • 1000m sprint
  • Individual time trial
  • Individual road race
  • Points race

You can check out Daniel’s blog at: