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Progress made in preparation for Beijing Paralympics
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16:16, November 22, 2007

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The preparations for the Beijing 2008 Paralympics are progressing smoothly, according to Tang Xiaoquan, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) and president of the Executive Board of China Disabled Persons' Federation.

Some 4,000 athletes from over 150 countries and regions are expected to compete in 20 sports and 472 events in Beijing from Sept. 6 to 17, 2008, she said Wednesday at a press conference at the Beijing Olympic Media Center.

The Paralympics will attract about 2,500 coaches and technical officials, in addition to 4,000 written and photographic journalists as well as TV broadcasters, she said.

In the area of competition organization, she said, the schedule for each day has been finalized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) while training courses have been held with the participation of more than 600 Chinese technical officials, coaches and competition assistants. In addition, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with 19 international Paralympic organizations.

With regard to the construction of the Paralympic venues, Tang said, the 20 competition venues, 28 training venues, and the Paralympc Village have been finalized, and smooth progress is being made in their construction and in the formation of management teams. All competition and non-competition venues will be equipped with standard accessible facilities, she emphasized.

Swissotel has been designated as the Paralympic Family Hotel, and another 35 hotels in Beijing will be available to the participants. Catering and medical service suppliers have been designated, and 26 of the Beijing Olympic Partners and Sponsors have joined the Paralympic marketing program. In addition, more than 100 Paralympic products have gone on the market.

In the volunteer program, over 80 percent of the 730,000 Olympic volunteer applicants will become volunteers for the Paralympics, and a professional training system has taken shape.

From Sept. 13 to 16, BOCOG successfully held the Good Luck Beijing goal ball tournament, which was praised by the IPC and the International Blind Sports Federation. Beijing will host a wheelchair basketball event in January 2008 and some events for Paralympic athletics in May in addition to mock tests for other sports, Tang added.

BOCOG has attached great importance to the communication of the Paralympics, by unveiling the Paralympic emblem, slogan, mascot, pictograms, torch relay route, and medals on separate occasions.

BOCOG will place a total of 1.5 million tickets for the Paralympics on sale, and the ticketing program will be launched in the near future.

Source: Xinhua/BOCOG



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