Historical Asian Para Games debuts with emotional opening ceremony

08:06, December 13, 2010      

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Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, attends the opening ceremony of the 2010 Asian Para Games in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Dec. 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

It is a new chapter for the Paralympics movement in Asia, as the inaugural Asian Para Games opened its arms to around 2500 disabled athletes from all around the continent here on Sunday.

Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, declared open the games to the roaring cheers of 60,000 spectators in the Aoti Main Stadium in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

Asia has a long and proud history in staging major Paralympic events, dating back to the first FESPIC Games (the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled) in 1975. But it is the first time that a multi-sport para games run parallel to the Asian Games.

After the dissolution of the FESPIC Games (the parallel sport event for disabled Pacific and East Asian athletes), the final FESPIC held in November 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And then, the FESPIC Games was replaced by the Asian Para Games, leaving the first host city Guangzhou with no precedent for preparation.

After just two years of preparation, the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games Organizing Committee (GAPGOC) is ready for the new born event to embark and their well-organized preparation work is labelled as a "benchmark" by the president of Asian Paralympic Committee Dato' Zainal Abu Zarin for the future host cities to follow.

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