Eugène Rubens-Alke is considered to be the first pioneer of sports movement for the deaf.
Born in 1884, his name was Eugene-Rubens; this surname was subsequently added to his given name and thus formed the name RUBENS-ALKAIS, by which he has been known ever since.
Deaf, he entered as a student in 1893 at the Protestant Institute of Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort. After his studies, he left for Paris to join his family.
Very early he became interested in sports. In his spare time, he cycled with his deaf friends and was one of the founders of the first deaf cycling club. By profession, he was an auto mechanic and participated in cycling competitions.
At the beginning of the 20th century, various sports for the deaf were developed, in particular football and athletics.
In 1910, the first deaf sports club was founded in Paris.
Eugène Rubens-ALKE was director of the Gazette des Sourds-Muets newspaper.
He was followed by many others in Paris and in the provinces, but the French clubs lacked an organization capable of taking over coordination and arbitration at the national level.
It was Eugene who put forward the idea of a sports federation for the deaf and dumb in France, which was founded in 1918.
Yes, there were problems with the organization of international sporting events.
The merit of Eugène RUBENS-AlKE, and through him France, lies in the fact that he pushed for the creation of an international sports committee among the deaf.
In 1924, thanks in part to Eugène Rubens-Alke, considered a pioneer in the sports movement for the deaf, the first international deaf games took place. There were five sports competitions. These games will now be updated every four years.
In the same 1924, after the end of the first Games, an international committee for the sport of the deaf was created, headed by Eugene RUBENS-ALKE. This one will remain in our history as the deaf Pierre Coubertin.
Eugène Rubens-Alke is considered a pioneer of the deaf sports movement along with Antoine Dresset from Belgium. In 1924, he managed to host a multi-sport event for the hearing impaired known as the International Games for the Deaf (now renamed the Deaflympics).
He himself, being a deaf person, realized that the deaf were discriminated against and were not allowed to participate in the Olympics, so he wanted to introduce such a multi-sport event. He was popular for the deaf for his initiatives to host competitions such as the Deaflympics for the benefit of deaf participants.
Eugène Rubens-Alke always lived in relative poverty and died in 1963. These varied pursuits did not enrich him.