History of the Deaflympics:
The Deaflympics began in 1924 as the World Games for the Deaf. In 2001, the name was changed to Deaflympics to more closely resemble the Olympics. The first one was held in Paris, France and subsequent Summer competitions were held every four years. Winter competitions were added in 1949.
Participation in the Deaflympics:
The first World Games for the Deaf had under 200 contestants from ewer than ten countries; modern Deaflympics events feature thousands of deaf and hard of hearing athletes from multiple countries.
Financing the Deaflympics:
Although it is recognized by the International Olympics Committee, the Deaflympics does not receive any financial support from the IOC. Some countries pay for their deaf atheletes to participate, but others do not and this forces the deaf/hoh athletes to engage in fundraising. Many newspaper articles have been published about the efforts of deaf athletes to raise the funds. This was discussed on the forum in the Deaflympics thread.
Qualifying for Deaflympics:
The qualification standards are flexible; an athlete only needs a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in the "better ear."