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More than 4,200 Athletes to Compete at Beijing Paralympics
    2008-08-24 12:25:11     Xinhua
More than 4,200 athletes from 148 countries and regions will attend the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, said Tang Xiaoquan, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) on Sunday.

In addition, more than 2,500 referees and more than 4,000 journalists and media technicians will gather in Beijing for the event, said Tang at a press conference. She added that there will also be 30,000 volunteers working for the games.

She said Beijing has made five of its sports venues including the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, to reach the world's level in terms of no-barrier facilities.

Beijing has opened 16 special bus lines and involved 400 no-barrier vehicles for the games. All the 123 stations of eight subway lines have at least one entry-exit which can be used by passengers in wheelchairs, she said.

Tang said the city also built 109 elevators for handicapped people, and organized the first no-barrier taxi team. Tourist attractions such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City have installed no-barrier facilities.

The organizing committee has designated 22 hospitals and 16 hotels for the attendants of the Paralympics. The committee has also published guidance books for no-barrier service and will offer wireless hearing aids and video sign language translation service for the games.
 
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