Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) President Majid Rashed attended the opening ceremony of the China’s 10th National Games for People with Disabilities and 7th National Special Olympics Games that kicked off with a spectacular show Sunday evening in North China’s Tianjin municipality.
The Games, which are being held between August 25 and September 1, have a record levels of participation with 6,121 athletes representing 35 teams from across the country in 33 events, (25 for the Games for Persons with Disabilities and 8 for the Special Olympic Games).
The 35 delegations taking part here represent China’s provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Rashed highlighted the achievements of China in Paralympics and the efforts the country has made towards the growth of the Movement.
“China has long been a powerhouse in the Paralympic Movement and I’m sure that these Games play a really important role in making this the case.
“I have been very impressed with the scale and standard of what I have seen so far and so I would like to congratulate the organisers on putting on such a fantastic show. We know how much hard work, commitment and energy it takes to put on an event such as this.”
Emphasising on the Paralympic values – Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality, Rashed urged the athletes who are the future ambassadors of the Paralympic movement to show these values in everything that they do.
“Over the next few days I’m sure that you will have many new experiences that will help you on your journey to becoming high performance athletes, and I’m sure you’ll take away some fantastic memories and make some new friends that you’ll keep for a long time.”
APC Vice President and China Disabled Persons’ Federation Director of Sports, Zhao Sujing said the Games will provide great opportunities for athletes to prepare for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games.
“China has topped the gold medal tally and total medal tally at Paralympic Games four times, but the upcoming events next year in Tokyo are expected to see tougher competition. So, the competitions here will be a good preparation,” she said.
Among others who graced the ceremony were Zhang Haidi, President of China Disabled Persons’ Federation; Wang Yong, State Councillor and the director of State Council Working Committee on Disability; Li Hongzhong, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee, as well as Tianjin mayor Zhang Guoqing and director of China’s General Administration of Sport Gou Zhongwen.