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Day to remember for blind people at Bird's Nest
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08:56, September 17, 2008

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· Paralympics
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For Xu Liyi, what the Bird's Nest looks like has been a big mystery until now.

The 68-year-old resident of Beixinqiao in the city's Dongcheng district is blind, which means it is difficult for him to imagine the appearance of the spectacular building.

Organized by the neighborhood office, Xu and six other blind people were taken to the venue to "watch" track and field matches on Monday morning.

"The Bird's Nest doesn't have a roof. I thought it had," the retiree said.

He even touched the steel plates on the way to spectators, sighing "they are more solid than the Great Wall".

Each blind person had a volunteer to keep them company, who described the match to them in as much detail as they could, including such things as the surroundings of the place and how fast the athletes were going in their wheelchairs.

Xu said he loves sports.

The Beijinger has been following the Paralympics for more than two decades. He even participated in the shot put in the city's sports meet for people with disabilities in the 1980s.

Xu and his wife are both blind, so they prefer to listen to the radio to get the latest sports news.

But if it is about his favorite sport - gymnastics - he said he likes to watch the games by sitting close to the TV, although he cannot do that for long, as it makes him dizzy.

He admitted being in the Bird's Nest to listen to the match was not as clear as listening to radio at home, "but the warm atmosphere in the venue is something you will never have at home. This experience is unique and exciting," he said.

Spanish football player Vicente Aguilar finished games with the Korean team in the morning, but the 38-year-old man appeared at the stadium in the afternoon to "watch" the game between China and Brazil.

"Both of them are best the teams in the world, so I don't want to miss the match," he said during the break.

His physiotherapist Jose Bravo sat next to him.

"The job I am doing is much like a radio broadcaster's," he said.

As the football makes a sound when it rolls, Vicente knows how the match is going, he said.

Source: China Daily

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