Progress seen in Par­a­lympic par­tic­i­pa­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By CHINA DAILY

A new ac­ces­si­bil­ity guide, sched­uled to be re­leased in Oc­to­ber, will help to im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment for the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games, of­fi­cials said.

T h e Pa r a l y m p i c s h a s be­come a pre­mier in­ter­na­tional sports event to pro­mote progress in so­cial in­clu­sion, said Philip Graven, pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee.

The prepara­tor y work for the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games also fo­cuses on the con­cept of in­clu­sive­ness, pri­or­i­tiz­ing in­creased aware­ness of ac­ces­si­bil­ity and in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ment na­tion­wide, ac­cord­ing to the Bei­jing Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee.

Host­ing the 2008 Par­a­lympics has brought about marked changes in ac­ces­si­bil­ity in the host coun­try.

The 2022 event will pro­vide an­other key op­por­tu­nity to im­prove in­fra­struc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties, which will en­cour­age peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to em­power them­selves and par­tic­i­pate more in so­ci­ety, com­mit­tee of­fi­cials said.

They added they hope h o s t i n g t h e Pa r a l y m p i c s will have a pos­i­tive ef­fect on pol­i­cy­mak­ers and pub­lic aware­ness, help­ing to cre­ate a friendly cli­mate that re­spects and pro­tects the in­ter­ests of those with dis­abil­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion, in co­op­er­a­tion with the China Dis­abled Pe r s o n s ’ Fe d e r a t i o n a n d gov­ern­ment de­part­ments in Bei­jing and He­bei prov­ince — co-hosts of the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games — the com­mit­tee has de­vel­oped co­or­di­na­tion to im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity.

Since China won the bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games in 2015, ice and snow sports events have be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar among peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

To date, the num­ber of pro­fes­sional ath­letes has grown to nearly 400 from less than 50 be­fore, and par­tic­i­pants in­volve res­i­dents of 12 prov­inces.

Since 2016, C hina has hosted 10 ice and snow sports events for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, which have at­tracted 245 Chi­nese play­ers. A to­tal of 250 Chi­nese ath­letes have par­tic­i­pated in 17 in­ter­na­tional events, some of them cre­at­ing records in their re­spec­tive fields.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The China team par­tic­i­pate in a wheelchair curl­ing event dur­ing the Sochi 2014 Par­a­lympics.

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