Feature: Beijing Winter Paralympic participants looking to the future

(Xinhua) 08:45, March 22, 2022

LANZHOU, China, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Guo Yujie is set to remember the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games for years to come.

As one of the flagbearers of the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony, Guo won a gold medal in the Para biathlon women's sprint standing less than 24 hours after the ceremony.

"As long as I persist, everything is possible," Guo said, adding that Beijing 2022 will encourage more people with disabilities to fulfill their destiny and regain their self-confidence in life.

Guo and her Para cross-country skiing and biathlon teammates prepared for Beijing 2022 at the Baiyin national snow event training base in January in northwest China's Gansu Province.

At these Games, host China fielded 33 athletes to participate in all 38 events of Para cross-country skiing and biathlon, winning 11 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals.

32-year-old Wang Hongwei, a manager of the training base, was also involved in Beijing 2022 as national technical official (NTO) in Alpine skiing.

Wang mentioned that she benefitted a lot from her experiences as NTO at Beijing 2022, which offered her much more confidence in the future development of sports for people with disabilities in China.

"At the Paralympic Winter Games, many barrier-free facilities met the athletes' needs, and many volunteers would be nearby if any athlete needed help," said Wang, adding that services showed equality and respect for those people with disabilities.

Wang and her colleagues completed the barrier-free reconstruction of facilities at the end of 2021, including athletes' apartments, restaurants and indoor training halls at the training base.

China's Para cross-country skiing gold medalist Wang Chenyang also geared up for the Games in Baiyin City, adding that infrastructure at the base is world-class.

A few days ago, the Chinese delegation sent a letter of thanks to the training base to offer their gratitude for its outstanding services.

Wang Hongwei believed that she has accumulated more experience in serving people with disabilities through Beijing 2022.

"I am confident that in the future, I will lead my team in the base to serve people with disabilities for their training and competition," Wang said, also expressing her confidence that the development of sports for people with disabilities in China would become better and better.

Data from the China Disabled Persons' Federation shows that since 2016, China has held winter sports activities for people with disabilities for six consecutive years, with the number of engaging provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities rising from 14 to 31 and the number of participants rising from 10,000 to over 300,000.

China won 61 medals at the Beijing Winter Paralympics, including 18 gold, topping both gold and overall medal tallies.

"I hope that I can participate in the next Games in Italy and win glory again for my country," said Guo, who has recently turned 18. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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