In February, the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea came to a celebratory end. Over the course of seven days, Pyeongchang played host to more than 2,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities, who had come from 107 nations to take part in these winter games.
During the Special Olympics World Winter Games, these athletes underwent a thorough health screening program, including an in-depth hearing screening. The results revealed that 18.4 percent of all athletes tested were affected by hearing loss. The Hear the World Foundation donates high-quality Phonak hearing instruments to the participating athletes with aidable hearing loss and is arranging free follow-up care.
Established in 2006 by the Sonova Group, the leading Swiss manufacturer of innovative hearing care solutions, the Hear the World Foundation campaigns for a world where everyone has a chance to experience good hearing. Against this background, the foundation has entered a two year partnership supporting the Special Olympics Healthy Hearing Program.
Almost a quarter of the participating athletes at Special Olympics are affected by hearing loss. Many of them do not wear a hearing instrument, because they cannot afford one and they do not have access to the necessary medical and audiological care in their home countries. The Special Olympics Healthy Hearing Program tackles this problem head on by offering the athletes comprehensive hearing screenings.