The Inaugural Asian Para Games Opens in Guangzhou
    2010-12-12 22:35:45     Xinhua      Web Editor: haodi
 

Photo taken on Dec. 12, 2010, shows the opening ceremony of the 2010 Asian Para Games held in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province. [Photo: Xinhua]

It is a new chapter for the Paralympics movement in Asia, as the inaugural Asian Para Games opened its arms to around 2500 disabled athletes from all around the continent on Sunday.

Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, declared open the games to the roaring cheers of 60,000 spectators in the Aoti Main Stadium in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

The caldron was lit by two outstanding Chinese disabled athletes, Zhang Lixin, a male wheelchair sprinter and Zhang Haiyuan, a female jumper. Both of the two athletes lost one leg. Holding the torch alternately, they climbed up a some 40-meter-high man-made cliff without the help of any equipment, and lit the flame together on the peak of the "cliff".

The lighting of the flame was the climax of an emotional opening ceremony, which highlights the power of love and caring for the disabled people, as well as their fortitudinous image.

A visually impaired boy named He Yuxuan was spot-lighted at the beginning of the ceremony. Although he can't see the national flag with his own eyes, the eight-year-old pupil carried the flag in his hands with his mother walking along, handed the flag to the honor guards and saluted as the flag was raised.

Mothers of disabled athletes from across Asia were also honored during the ceremony. They sang and cheered for their children as the athletes paraded into the stadium and hugged and kissed their children when they passed by. They were also joined by more than 300 mothers of children with a disability from all over China, presenting flowers, mascots, and their blessings to the athletes.

Love is the keyword and theme of the performance staged before the lighting of the caldron.

Theme song Sailing with Sunshine lauds the spirit of unremitting self-improving, with the lyrics inspirational and encouraging - "Sailing in sunshine, let us chase the light. The fighting spirit cannot be vanquished. Sailing in sunshine, let us share the glory. The promising future is ahead of us, the youth of Asia."

A hand-sign professional hostess lead all the spectators to express with hand-sign language and voice: "Dear Mom, I love you! Dear Friends, I love you! Dear world, I love you!", while 36 cranes flew across the stadium to add it to the sentimental atmosphere.

Host China concluded the athletes parade with Beijing Paralympic wheelchair fencing champion Hu Daoliang holding the national flag.

The Chinese delegation was made up of 614 members including 431 athletes and 183 officials, coaches and working staff, which is the biggest disabled athletes delegation that China has ever assembled for international multi-sport Games. They will compete in all the 19 sports, among which badminton and tenpin bowling are non-Paralympic sports.

The regional sport power has already set their goals beyond the medals, aiming to show not only good performance in the competitions but also their image of unremitting self-improving and high-level sport moral.

Asia has a long and proud history in staging major Paralympic events, dating back to the first FESPIC Games (the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled) in 1975. But it is the first time that a multi-sport para games run parallel to the Asian Games.

After the dissolution of the FESPIC Games (the parallel sport event for disabled Pacific and East Asian athletes), the final FESPIC held in November 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And then, the FESPIC Games was replaced by the Asian Para Games, leaving the first host city Guangzhou with no precedent for preparation.

After just two years of preparation, the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games Organizing Committee (GAPGOC) is ready for the new born event to embark and their well-organized preparation work is labelled as a "benchmark" by the president of Asian Paralympic Committee Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin for the future host cities to follow.

More than 25,000 volunteers are trained to provide assistance for disabled athletes. They have received special training in details including how to express their willingness to help and how to push wheelchair to make disabled persons feel comfortable.

Accessible facilities, such as rampways, blind walkways and lower counters in the Games Village as well as other parts of the city has been set up or renewed to make sure the athletes can enjoy a barrier-free Asian Para Games with the official slogan "We Cheer, We Share, We Win".

"The vision of these Games is 'We Cheer, We Share, We Win' , a heartfelt message that you will see through some unremitting and unforgettable performances delivered by the inspirational athletes in and out of the competition venues," said Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin.

The competitions of Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games will begin on Dec. 13 and the Games will end on Dec. 19.
Theme song Sailing with Sunshine lauds the spirit of unremitting self-improving, with the lyrics inspirational and encouraging - "Sailing in sunshine, let us chase the light. The fighting spirit cannot be vanquished. Sailing in sunshine, let us share the glory. The promising future is ahead of us, the youth of Asia."

A hand-sign professional hostess lead all the spectators to express with hand-sign language and voice: "Dear Mom, I love you! Dear Friends, I love you! Dear world, I love you!", while 36 cranes flew across the stadium to add it to the sentimental atmosphere.

Host China concluded the athletes parade with Beijing Paralympic wheelchair fencing champion Hu Daoliang holding the national flag.

The Chinese delegation was made up of 614 members including 431 athletes and 183 officials, coaches and working staff, which is the biggest disabled athletes delegation that China has ever assembled for international multi-sport Games. They will compete in all the 19 sports, among which badminton and tenpin bowling are non-Paralympic sports.

The regional sport power has already set their goals beyond the medals, aiming to show not only good performance in the competitions but also their image of unremitting self-improving and high-level sport moral.

Asia has a long and proud history in staging major Paralympic events, dating back to the first FESPIC Games (the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled) in 1975. But it is the first time that a multi-sport para games run parallel to the Asian Games.

After the dissolution of the FESPIC Games (the parallel sport event for disabled Pacific and East Asian athletes), the final FESPIC held in November 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And then, the FESPIC Games was replaced by the Asian Para Games, leaving the first host city Guangzhou with no precedent for preparation.

After just two years of preparation, the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games Organizing Committee (GAPGOC) is ready for the new born event to embark and their well-organized preparation work is labelled as a "benchmark" by the president of Asian Paralympic Committee Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin for the future host cities to follow.

More than 25,000 volunteers are trained to provide assistance for disabled athletes. They have received special training in details including how to express their willingness to help and how to push wheelchair to make disabled persons feel comfortable.

Accessible facilities, such as rampways, blind walkways and lower counters in the Games Village as well as other parts of the city has been set up or renewed to make sure the athletes can enjoy a barrier-free Asian Para Games with the official slogan "We Cheer, We Share, We Win".

"The vision of these Games is 'We Cheer, We Share, We Win' , a heartfelt message that you will see through some unremitting and unforgettable performances delivered by the inspirational athletes in and out of the competition venues," said Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin.

The competitions of Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games will begin on Dec. 13 and the Games will end on Dec. 19.

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