Thirty-nine delegates at the ICSD Congress in Sofia voted in favour of the Russian candidate over Britain’s Craig Crowley in the second round of voting on the day before the 2013 Deaflympics opening ceremony.
It was a case of ‘third time lucky’ for Rukhledev who was defeated twice in the 2005 and 2009 ICSD presidential elections.
According to the insidethegames website, Rukhledev is one of the most-decorated athletes in the modern Deaflympic history and a well-known figure in the Russian deaf community.
“Rukhledev is one of the best known names in the history of Deaflympics, who in 2001 was voted by the ICDS as one of the of the world’s top ten greatest deaf athletes of the 20th century having won six gold medals at the Games between 1969 and 1977 in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.
Rukhledev had founded the Russian Deaf Sports Union in 1993 following the break-up of the Soviet Union and is a former President of the National Deaf Association of Russia.
He is also a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Council on Disabled People.”
Speaking to Inside The Games, Rukhledev said: “Becoming ICSD President is the greatest achievement of my lifetime in sport. I am proud of having made Russia the strongest team in deaf sport, with the most Government support. I look forward to delivering great opportunities for a bright for all deaf athletes around the world.”
Craig Crowley took to Twitter to congratulate Rukhledev. He tweeted: “Warmest congratulations to Valery Rudhlekev and his new ICSD Executive Board for 2013-17 after Sofia Deaflympics.”
He added: “Philosophical about yesterday’s Congress; fiercely proud of Board’s achievements; exciting time now for @deaflympics2013 games for athletes!”