Executive summary:On the evening of March 13, the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games was held at the National Stadium “Bird’s Nest”. So far, the Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics have come to a successful conclusion. Over the past month or so, athletes from all over the world have gathered here to fight bravely, break through limits, and surpass themselves. With sincerity and smiles, they have sent warmth, solidarity and confidence to the world, and also contributed to the Winter Olympics, The Winter Paralympics marked a new history. Two Olympic Games, equally exciting. Taking dreams as horses, we will go to the future together. Just like the gramophone at the closing ceremony of the Winter Paralympics, it retains the sparkling moments on the field and the inspiring stories outside the field.
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On the evening of March 13, the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games was held at the National Stadium “Bird’s Nest”. So far, the Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics have come to a successful conclusion. Over the past month or so, athletes from all over the world have gathered here to fight bravely, break through limits, and surpass themselves. With sincerity and smiles, they have sent warmth, solidarity and confidence to the world, and also contributed to the Winter Olympics, The Winter Paralympics marked a new history. Two Olympic Games, equally exciting. Taking dreams as horses, we will go to the future together. Just like the gramophone at the closing ceremony of the Winter Paralympics, it retains the sparkling moments on the field and the inspiring stories outside the field.
In the singing, the phonograph of time constantly replays the beautiful moments of the Beijing Winter Paralympics, and these memories are like fireworks illuminating the night sky of Beijing, blooming in everyone’s heart.
On March 12, in the wheelchair curling final of the Winter Paralympics, the Chinese wheelchair curling team defeated the Swedish team 8:3 and successfully defended the gold medal. This gold medal is of special significance to the Chinese team. Four years ago, the Chinese wheelchair curling team won the first gold medal in the history of China‘s participation in the Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, achieving a breakthrough of zero gold medals, and that was the only Chinese gold medal in the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games. a medal.
In this Winter Paralympic Games, the Chinese delegation won 18 golds, 20 silvers and 23 bronzes, with a total of 61 medals, ranking first in the gold medal list and medal list. From 1 medal in the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games to 61 today, the Chinese Winter Paralympic Movement has achieved leap-forward development while making a comprehensive breakthrough.
In addition to the two ice events, curling and ice hockey have both reached the podium. The Chinese delegation has also fully blossomed in the snow events, with gold medals in the four major events. It is worth mentioning that the average age of the Chinese delegation is 25 years old. Among the 96 athletes, 85 are participating in the Winter Paralympics for the first time, and many of them have won medals in their first participation.
Zhang Haidi, head of the Chinese sports delegation for the Beijing Winter Paralympics, said: “They are not afraid of hardship, fatigue, or cold. Some athletes have never been exposed to ice and snow sports in the past, but in a short period of time, they have become able to dare to fight in winter. Paralympic warriors, I am proud of all the athletes in the Chinese Winter Paralympic Team.”
This competition is the sixth time China has participated in the Winter Paralympics. In Salt Lake City in 2002, when the Chinese delegation participated in the Winter Paralympic Games for the first time, only 4 people were sent to participate in two major events and 8 small events; in Pyeongchang four years ago, there were only 26 people in China. Participated in the competition of 5 major events and 30 small events. For the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games, the Chinese delegation sent a total of 96 athletes to participate in 73 of the 6 major events, and only 5 events did not participate. The geometric increase in the number of participants and events reflects the great efforts my country has made to promote the development of ice and snow sports for the disabled in recent years.
In 2015, China successfully bid for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Starting from the second year, the China Disabled Persons’ Federation has held an ice and snow sports season for the disabled in different provinces every year. The number of participating provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities has increased from 14 to 31 now, and the number of direct participants has grown from 10,000 at the beginning to 10,000. More than 300,000 people, which has laid a good mass foundation for the majority of disabled people in my country to participate in ice and snow sports. In addition, at the professional level, relying on the progress of science and technology and comprehensive strength, the national team has actively introduced international advanced training methods and coaching teams, so that ice and snow sports for the disabled in my country have developed rapidly in a short period of time.
At the Winter Paralympics, 20-year-old Zhang Mengqiu was one of the most watched athletes. She won medals in all 5 events she participated in. With 2 gold medals and 3 silver medals, Zhang Mengqiu was also called “the big medal winner” by the media. Zhang Mengqiu, who suffered from motor dysfunction due to cerebral palsy in children, was selected by the Hebei Disabled Persons’ Federation in 2016. At that time, she had never even heard of alpine skiing.
The road to pursue her dream is extremely difficult, but this girl is full of optimism. In this Winter Paralympic Games, at the five award ceremonies she participated in, she used five different hairstyles to show the love of life and the spirit of self-improvement and courageous pursuit of dreams by Chinese disabled athletes in the new era.
Competitive sports performance is important, but for disabled athletes, the moment they stand on the field, it is already a victory.
The 44-year-old Zhang Haiyuan is the oldest athlete in the Chinese delegation at the Beijing Winter Paralympics, and is also a summer Paralympic champion. 18 years ago, at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, 27-year-old Zhang Haiyuan won the women’s long jump F42 championship with a score of 3.67 meters and broke the world record.
In 2016, Zhang Haiyuan switched to practice alpine skiing. In the women’s giant slalom sitting in alpine skiing at this Winter Paralympics, she won sixth place. In the women’s slalom sitting competition, she fell after starting and failed to finish the race. Although he did not realize his wish to be on the podium in the double Paralympic arena, Zhang Haiyuan has already written his own legend.
Zhang Haiyuan said: “I think everyone’s goals are endless. You must have the courage to surpass yourself, break the routine, face everything you have to face, and look forward bravely. I think this is what I pursue.”
Face it bravely and surpass yourself. For China, which has 85 million disabled people, the opportunity to hold the Winter Paralympics will drive the overall development of ice and snow sports for disabled people, so that more disabled people can see that they can fight like healthy people. more important things.
In the Beijing Winter Paralympics, not only the stories of many disabled athletes’ indomitable struggle are touching, but also the respect and care for the disabled are reflected everywhere.
After the closing of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 20, it took only a few days for all competition venues to complete the conversion of barrier-free facilities, from adding anti-skid facilities inside and outside the venues, eliminating slight height differences, to the installation of barrier-free seats and handrails. From the barrier-free facilities in the athletes’ residences, to the table and chairs in the athletes’ restaurant, and Braille menus, every detail reflects the thoughtfulness of the organizing committee and has been well received by delegations from various countries.
The thoughtful detail design reflects the concept of “barrier-free”. The Winter Paralympics will give people with disabilities a stage to show themselves in front of the world. It will also give the world an opportunity to learn more about and listen to the difficulties of people with disabilities, and encourage the whole society to give them more attention and care.
After the successful bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2015, Beijing has rectified more than 300,000 points and added barrier-free facilities in many public places, so that people with disabilities can enjoy a more convenient daily life. The Winter Paralympics is like a seed that will continue to pass on the care for the disabled.
Iliana Rodriguez, an expert on accessibility for the International Paralympic Committee, said: “I also very much believe that the legacy of the Beijing Winter Paralympics will enable more people with disabilities to better integrate into society and bring benefits to the whole society. to have a positive impact.”
In addition to the accessibility of hardware facilities, the Beijing Winter Paralympics also attaches great importance to the “barrier-free” concept and communication, which is reflected in a series of meticulous volunteer services inside and outside the stadium. There are more than 9,000 volunteers in the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games. They not only provide constant services for delegations from various countries, but also firmly uphold the concept of equality and respect in their services. Volunteers use their subtle actions to convey goodwill and show the hospitality of the Chinese people.
Due to the requirements of epidemic prevention, the volunteers were unable to go home in the closed loop for several months, but they were always trying their best to bring the warmth of home to athletes from all over the world. A few days ago, the Czech Paralympic ice hockey player Hechiko celebrated his 27th birthday on the field. As soon as he walked off the field, the volunteers gave him a big surprise.
Vaclav Hechko said: “It is the first time in my life to receive such a courtesy, I am very excited, and I will remember it for the rest of my life. Thank you, I am very happy, I am very happy to come to China, the people and volunteers here are very friendly, Thank you China.”
Intimate care is reflected in every nuance. Potato chips should be original, and drinks should be sugar-free… In the Winter Olympic Village and on the walls of the athletes’ pantries in various venues, each team’s preferences are clearly recorded on sticky notes. Such warmth has left all delegations and journalists with the best memories of China.
For young volunteers, this special experience will also be turned into a tenacity force on their life path, allowing them to grow up bravely.
Zhang Honglin, a volunteer for the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games, said: “Athletes are not overwhelmed by the impact of physical disabilities on their lives. They still work very hard and do a lot of things that we can’t do. Some athletes fall over and over again. Getting up, falling over and standing up again, the spirit of not giving up and working hard has brought me great spiritual strength, which is also the biggest gain in our entire volunteer service.”
Whether it is the able-bodied or the disabled, when people work hard for their dreams, they can all shine brightest; whether they are athletes or volunteers, when people get together for good wishes, they will feel each other. The most sincere kindness. “Together to the future” is not just a slogan. In this future, with you and me, there will be wonderfulness, and mutual warmth will be eternal.
Original title: Focus Interview: Fight!Winter Paralympics are eternal in warmth