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China, Finland eye potential cooperation in Winter Paralympics

By Xian Jiangnan, Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    17:13, March 29, 2019

Tero Kuorikoski, General Manager of the Finnish Paralympic Committee (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

Beijing, March 29 (People’s Daily Online) – China and Finland have a bright future and potential for cooperation in Winter Paralympics, said Tero Kuorikoski, General Manager of the Finnish Paralympic Committee, during an interview with People's Daily Online on Wednesday.

As China gears up for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, it seeks more partnership opportunities with Finland, a leading country in winter sports.

As a latecomer to the Winter Paralympic Games, China made its debut in 2002 in Salt Lake City, United States, and didn’t win a single medal until 2018 at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics, where China won its first ever gold in wheelchair curling.

Compared with China, Finland possesses experience, as it has participated in every Winter Paralympics to date, winning a total of 185 medals.

Despite China’s lack of experience in the Winter Paralympics, Tero voiced his confidence in China’s development in this field.

According to Tero, the national Paralympic Committees of both nations plan to advance cooperation, with the focus on exchanging sporting expertise through coaching, educating trainers and sharing more facilities.

“There is no simple package solution for all sports,” he said, adding that it is important for China to voice its needs in each sport.

“When your needs and our expertise confront positively, then we have real cooperation,” he further noted.

In regards to further promoting winter sports among people with disabilities, Tero mentioned the significance of raising awareness and telling people fantastic stories from the Paralympic movement.

“It’s all about centimeters and kilograms, just like in the non-disabled sports field,” said Tero, emphasizing that athletes with disabilities who are performing at the top level should be seen as elite athletes, not just people with disabilities.

Tero encouraged more Chinese people with disabilities to enjoy winter sports. “Please do have the courage to seek your dreams and develop your own path,” he said. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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