Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search | Mirror in USA   

Message Board
Voice of Readers
China Quiz
 China At a Glance
 Constitution of the PRC
 State Organs of the PRC
 CPC and State Leaders
 Chinese President Jiang Zemin
 White Papers of Chinese Government
 Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping
 English Websites in China
About Us

U.S. Mirror
Japan Mirror
Tech-Net Mirror
Edu-Net Mirror
Monday, October 30, 2000, updated at 10:28(GMT+8)

Sydney Paralympic Games Closed at High Tune

Sydney Paralympic Games Closed at High Tune
The XI Paralympic Games, the largest ever in the history of the Games, came to a close at a ceremony in the Olympic Stadium here Sunday evening after producing the last batch of gold medals on the day's earlier competitions in Sydney.

The Games featured 18 sports with a total of 551 gold medals produced.

China ranked in the 6th with 34 gold, 22 silver and 16 bronze medals, better than the last 9th position.

Hosts Australia is top-ranked in the final medal table with 63 gold medals, followed by Britain (41), Spain (39), Canada (38), United States (36), China (34), France (30) and Poland (19).

The organizers described the 12-day event an outstanding success, which had smashed all the Games records such as those on ticket sales, participating and media coverage.

And Robert Steadward, president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the worldwide representative organization of elite sports for athletes with disabilities, put on a seal of "the best ever Paralympic Games" before declaring the Games to be closed.

"The efforts of athletes, volunteers, organizers and the people of Australia combined to make Sydney's Olympic and Paralympic Games a resounding success," said Michael Knight, President of Sydney 200, Minister for the Olympics and Minister Responsible for the Paralympics, at a press conference on Sunday.

"And the performances of the Paralympic athletes were simply sensational!

"All Australians should fell very, very proud of the way they rallied to support Sydney's Games and how as Australians, they helped send a very positive image to the world," he said.

Knight revealed on the Games' final day that ticket sales had reached a record 1.1 million, including sell-outs of both the opening and closing ceremonies. It was more the doubled the 500,000 tickets sold to the Atlanta Paralympic Games four years ago.

He praised the efforts made by the 15,000 volunteers. "The real heroes of the last 60 days are the volunteers and those many thousands of Sydney 2000 workers."

Steadward praised all those involved for the 12-day Games' organization as of making the event "an absolutely outstanding event."

He expressed thanks to Sydneysiders saying that "you can take enormous pride in going far beyond, to the forging of special relationships that will live with you forever, to creating the spirit of volunteerism which combines tolerance, understanding, good will, hope and unity - this is Paralympism at its finest."

He gave his special thanks to the volunteers who had sacrificed time with family, business and jobs.

He mentioned the signing of an agreement between the IPC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the Games, which represents an important milestone in the history of the Paralympic movements.

"The agreement seals the common vision of the Olympic and Paralympic family, of elite sport and opens the way to moving closer together than ever before."

And an agreement signed between IPC and New York-based Sport would, as Steadward put it, enable many dreams to come true, and allow millions of people from around the world to gain access to the achievements of Paralympic athletes, through the Internet.

The IPC chief then declared the Games to be closed.

But the official closing ceremony for the Games at the Stadium Australia did not mean the celebrations are over. Sydneysiders would get a final chance on Monday to show their Games spirit and enthusiasm, with large crowds expected to line George Street for the Paralympic athletes parade at noon.

Kone Oumar from Cote d'Ivoire and Mirtia Willing were announced the male and female winners of the "Spirit of Excellence" prize award at the closing ceremony.

The Sydney Paralympic Games have established many records. A total of 199 countries and regions, or 200 if independent athletes from East Timor included, participated in the Games with athletes totalling 11,000.

122 countries and regions including independent athletes from East Timor competed at the Games, making them the largest Paralympic Games ever. And the Paralympic Village registered a population of 6,943, comprising 3,824 athletes, 2,315 team officials and 804 technical officials.

The 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games held the previous record of 103 countries and regions.

The Sydney Paralympic Games attracted 17,500 accredited print and broadcast media. Some 350 press conferences were held during the Games and the Sydney Media Center at Pyrmont was designed for non-accredited media, where more than 5,300 guests including accredited and non-accredited media representatives and VIPs had been registered.

The XI Paralympics also wrote a new chapter in internet history. The Games' official website,, has more than nine million hits during the course of the Sydney Games. This surpassed the previous record of 634 million hits set at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games.

Sunday evening's closing ceremony was however shadowed by an announcement by the IPC Medical and Anti-Doping Commission earlier on the day that American athlete Brian Fraser was found of using anabolic steroid Nandrolone in one of his in-competition tests here.

Fraser then became the 10th Paralympic athlete during the Sydney Games to have been expelled for doping. Both A and B urine samples he had provided were tested positive.

All the nine others caught earlier here were powerlifters. All the ten would be banned from any competition of any sport in the next four years.

In This Section

The XI Paralympic Games, the largest ever in the history of the Games, came to a close at a ceremony in the Olympic Stadium here Sunday evening after producing the last batch of gold medals on the day's earlier competitions in Sydney.

Advanced Search



Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved