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Action star Jackie Chan joined Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin, and over a thousand students at the Taipei Town Hall in Taiwan to mark the one year countdown to the Deaflympics last week.

The Deaflympics are an IOC-sanctioned event at which deaf and hearing-impaired athletes compete at an elite level. Held every 4 years since 1924, the event is now the longest running multi-sport event in the world, excluding the Olympics. The event was last held in Melbourne, Australia, in 2005, and attracted over 3,000 competitors. Taipei is the first city in Asia to host the Deaflympics games, marking a milestone for the hosting of international sporting events in Taiwan.

During last week’s countdown event, Chan sung the 2009 Deaflympics theme song “Power in Me” and told the crowd about an accident in Yugoslavia which left him with decreased hearing in one ear. He encouraged everyone to keep trying their best and never to give up in order to succeed.

Next year’s Deaflympics is expected to be the biggest yet, with over 4,000 competitors from 80 nations set to converge in Taipei.

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