Beijing 2022 ready to welcome world Paralympic athletes
BEIJING -- Zhang Haidi, president of China Disabled Persons' Federation and executive president of the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee, said that the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games is an important opportunity for developing the Paralympics in China and further improving the well-being of people with disabilities.
Zhang said that China has made great progress in providing favorable conditions for the disabled, and the public have also gained a better understanding of them. Currently, an increasing number of Chinese people with disabilities participate in sports activities, showing the spirit of optimism and perseverance.
Chinese Paralympic athletes have only competed in cross-country skiing and wheelchair curling before China bid for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Now, Chinese Para athletes are ready to attend all six sports at the Beijing Games, Zhang added.
The number of Chinese athletes with disabilities participating in winter sports now has hit more than one thousand. The Chinese wheelchair curling team won China's first Winter Paralympic gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympics, as well as the gold medal at the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
"We believe that the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be as splendid as the Olympics, as the preparation of the two Games has been carried out at the same pace. Barrier-free facilities have been applied in place, and the whole society is looking forward to the Winter Paralympics," Zhang said.
Following the barrier-free guidelines for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the organizers have attached great importance to the needs of athletes during the Games, committing to providing barrier-free facilities and services for the disabled, which will cover the registration, catering, accommodation, transportation and medical supply, Zhang added.
In addition, sign language interpreting, guiding identifiers, as well as service handbooks in braille and large print will also be provided for the disabled during the Beijing 2022.
Zhang said that the barrier-free facilities were not only developed in the three competition zones of Beijing 2022, but also the entire host cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou, which will benefit more disabled people.
Zhang, also the president of the Rehabilitation International (RI), said that "the RI has made great contributions for promoting rehabilitation and encouraging the disabled to join in sports, and Dr. Ludwig Guttmann proposed the idea of taking sports as an important means of rehabilitation as early as the 1950s. We will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of RI next year in Beijing and continue to lead the disabled to embrace a promising future."
"For the upcoming Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, we are confident to hold a simple, safe and splendid Games, welcoming participants from all over the world," Zhang said.