23 events held to mark 100-day countdown to Shanghai Special Olympics 2007

UPDATED: 16:31, June 24, 2007

A total of 23 events have been on display in Shanghai on Sunday as part of the celebrations to mark the 100-day countdown to the Shanghai Special Olympics 2007.

The celebrations were spearheaded by a jogging attended by at least 20,000 citizens, including some mentally handicapped people.

The mini-marathon was augmented by art shows, rummage sale, autograph-signing and some donating ceremonies.

"I came here to give my support to those mentally handicapped people, they are born equal," said Wang Junxia, China's former 5,000-meter Olympic champion, who headed the jogging. "And they can compete and live as everybody else does. I would like to call on the attention from all the corners of the society to those people."

According to Han Zheng, mayor of Shanghai and Chairman of the organizing committee of the Special Olympics, all the preparation has been well underway, with building a harmonious ambiance for the Games and the mentally handicapped people as the priority.

"We don't build new venues, we don't make profits from the Games, all we need to do is make it public and have more people involved to create a civilized and harmonious environment for the mentally handicapped people," Han said at Sunday's Special Olympics 100-day countdown ceremony.

The 12th Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Shanghai from Oct. 2 to 11. More than 10,000 athletes and coaches, 20,000 family members from over 160 countries and regions are expected to show up.

Source: Xinhua

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