• Paralympics opens at Bird's Nest - [Beijing Paralympic]

    2008-09-08 | Tag:Olympics

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    The opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics, the largest sports gathering for the disabled, started at 8 pm Saturday in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.

    Opening just two weeks after the Beijing Olympics ended, the largest-ever Paralympics are designed to be a parallel games for athletes with a wide range of physical disabilities.

    At least 4,000 athletes from more than 140 countries and regions will participate in the Beijing Paralympic Games.

    “This fully demonstrates the global care and support for sports for people with a disability,” Chinese President Hu Jintao said at the welcoming luncheon of the Beijing Paralympic Games earlier Saturday.

    Athletes will use many of the same Olympic venues. The competition begins Sunday and concludes on September 17.

    China has fielded the largest-ever delegation of 547 members, including 332 athletes to the Beijing Paralympics.

    Wang Xiaofu, an amputee swimmer and triple gold medalist at the Athens Games, will carry the national flag for the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics.


    A general view of the Chinese National Stadium, dubbed "Bird's Nest", in this photo taken September 6, 2008. The Beijing Paralympic Games kicked off Saturday night.


    Wheelchair users give a pre-ceremony performance ahead of the Beijing Paralympics opening ceremony inside the National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest", September 6, 2008.


    Artists perform a Chinese traditional drum show ahead of the Beijing Paralympics opening ceremony inside the National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest", September 6, 2008.


    A performer waves the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) flag as the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony kicks off at the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing on September 6, 2008.


    A performer dances during the opening ceremony at the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing on September 6, 2008.


    Fireworks kick off the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony at the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing on September 6, 2008.


    Fireworks kick off the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony at the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing on September 6, 2008.


    Fireworks kick off the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony at the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing on September 6, 2008.


    Performers dance at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games opening ceremony at the National Stadium, better known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing on September 6, 2008.


    starry night

    fireworks



    American athelete hit hands with volunteer.
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