Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, March 4th. Title: The Bloom of Life – Side Notes on the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games
Xinhua News Agency reporter
Less than half a month after the closing of the Beijing Winter Olympics, bright fireworks once again lit up the sky above the “Bird’s Nest”. Friends from all over the world and regions gathered together under the inspiration of the Winter Paralympics to share this hopeful, fighting spirit and self-improvement. An ice and snow event for the disabled with style and solidarity and friendship.
Warm emotions flow slowly, romantic colors complement each other, and the emotional atmosphere gradually rises… In the melodious singing and graceful dance, the touching moments of life bloom all convey the strength of perseverance and bravery.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Mou Yu
Passionate, Winter Paralympic Athletes Fear Hardships to Realize Their Dreams
In the center of the venue, the white ice surface gradually transformed into a sea of twinkling stars. The glorious history of the past 12 Winter Paralympic Games flashed through the brilliant stars one by one. The final picture was frozen in “2022 Beijing”, and the audience held their breath.
Athletes in six major events, including Paralympic alpine skiing, Paralympic ice hockey, and wheelchair curling, galloped down the on-site snow track with the dream of breaking through obstacles and breaking through themselves. When the curling leaves the putter, the reticle advances. “10, 9, 8…3, 2, 1”, in the countdown of the audience, curling entered the base, a passionate event belonging to the global Winter Paralympic athletes is about to start.
Against the backdrop of the emblem of the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games, 46 participating delegations came on the snowy road, and the naive mascot “Xue Rongrong” and the pacesetter volunteers danced warmly to welcome the guests from all over the world. This is one of the largest Winter Paralympics in history and the largest number of female athletes. Among them are veteran athletes with rich experience, as well as “post-00s” who participated in the Paralympic event for the first time; some are from strong ice and snow countries with fierce competition, and some athletes have a hot climate in their hometown without snow all year round.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium. This is the entrance of the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Li Ga
“I have practiced skiing for 5 years, and I have participated in official competitions for the past 3 years. The Winter Paralympics is my highest dream stage. I have made great efforts to come here.” British athlete Alex had an accident , unfortunately his right leg was amputated. In skiing, he found a new life “track”.
Despite the misfortunes in their lives, the Paralympic athletes continued to improve themselves, constantly breaking through themselves, and creating miracles of life one after another. Through arduous efforts and despite all odds, they finally made it to the Winter Paralympic stage, and their dreams of ice and snow came into reality.
Accompanied by the familiar song “Singing the Motherland”, Chinese Winter Paralympic athletes Guo Yujie and Wang Zhidong held bright five-star red flags and led the Chinese sports delegation into the stadium. The Chinese team sent 96 athletes to participate in all six major events this time, which is a huge leap and breakthrough for the Chinese team that started late in the Winter Paralympic Games. From the beginning of the Paralympic Winter Games in 2002 to the “zero breakthrough” in the gold medal of the Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018, all Chinese athletes are not afraid of difficulties, in order to use their best efforts to create new miracles at home.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium. This is the entrance of the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Cai Yang
“The Chinese people are warm and hospitable, and they have built a stage for athletes from different countries (regions) to fully demonstrate the charm of Paralympic sports.” Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee, said that they will show the most brilliant side of human nature through sports. .
When the purple “snowflakes” bloom beautifully in the night sky, we all look forward to the Winter Paralympic athletes representing courage, perseverance and unyielding, and show their passion and show their tenacious struggle and self-transcendence in the next 9 days of the Winter Paralympic Games.
Blooming vision, integration of disabled and disabled join hands to build a harmonious world
About one-third of the performers at the opening ceremony were disabled, and they told their stories with simple performances. During the rehearsal, disabled performers and able-bodied performers supported and helped each other. Solidarity, friendship, communion, and disability integration are deeply reflected in every detail.
“My motherland and I cannot be separated for a moment…” The melodious singing of the visually impaired slowly rippled in the arena. Athletes with disabilities and 8 representatives who have contributed to the cause of the disabled enter the venue with flags. Although some of them were in wheelchairs, they moved forward in unison. When the national flag was raised, the hearing disabled people “sang” the national anthem in sign language to express their affection for the motherland. Silent, but loud and clear.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium. This is where people “sing” the national anthem in sign language.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Xu Yanan
With the flow of light and shadow on the stage, ordinary people from all walks of life, handicapped and disabled accompanied by jumping notes, interpret the moving moments of life.
The blind girl used a red lantern to light up the light of life, the happy family let go of their dreams, and the disabled mother looked forward to her daughter’s return with joy.
Ripples, waves, flocks of birds flying… Braille in the venue is like pixels, forming a vibrant image of life in the change, and finally fixed in Chinese and English bilingual “Change begins with sports“, and the Paralympic Games is a powerful proof of change .
From 2015 to 2021, the number of major Winter Paralympic events in China has expanded from two to six, and the number of athletes has increased from less than 50 to nearly 1,000. More and more disabled people in society are participating in ice and snow sports. In order to create a barrier-free environment, hundreds of thousands of improvements have been made to the infrastructure of the three competition areas of the Beijing Winter Paralympics; 81% of the entrances and exits, 56% of the service counters, and 38% of the toilets in the village (community) comprehensive service facilities across the country The barrier-free construction and renovation will benefit the lives of China‘s 85 million disabled people.
A blind man’s palm showed the logo of the International Paralympic Committee, which was passed on from hand to hand and printed on everyone’s palm. Among them are volunteers, athletes, doctors with physical disabilities, models and elementary school students with visual disabilities, as well as couples and twin brothers who are handicapped and able-bodied. People with disabilities encourage and support each other, and the feelings are here. Gather and blend, warm the world.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium. This is a blind man (third from right) high-fives “passing” the IPC logo on his palm.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Wu Zhuang
This is the smallest logo presented by the previous Paralympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games in the “IPC Logo Display” session. People will engrave the Paralympic spirit in their hearts, and it will continue to grow. It will inspire more and more disabled people to change through sports.
As a new starting point for change, this Winter Paralympics will provide a platform for friends from all over the world to communicate, exchange and share, and it will become a bond that brings together people of different skin colors, races and fates to build a common A more harmonious world moves forward hand in hand.
Bloom dreams, and go to a better future with “15% of us”
On the live screen, disabled people talk about the troubles known as “special populations”. In fact, the 1.2 billion disabled people, who account for 15% of the world‘s population, are not “special”. They can also engage in colorful careers and explore the possibilities of life. Only by treating them as ordinary members can we break down the barriers between them. At the opening ceremony, both Paralympic athletes and disabled performers all had their dreams and blossomed.
The flag of the International Paralympic Committee was solemnly hoisted along with the live performance of the International Paralympic Committee anthem by the Wind Band for the Blind. Among the 8 flag bearers who entered the stadium, there were 6 Paralympic athletes. Like them, hundreds of disabled athletes from all over the world will illuminate the Winter Paralympic Games with their dreams, blooming wonderful chapters in their lives, and inspire the “15 percent of us” to live in the sun and follow their dreams.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium. This is the International Paralympic Committee flag entry.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Ren Chao
In the short video, the cute blind child is full of hope, dipping the paintbrush in his hand with colorful paint, and painting a gorgeous smiling face, which is reflected on the stage. When the “Winter Paralympic Waltz” sounded slowly, the deaf dancers leaned on the snowflake-shaped stools and slowly slid. The deaf dancers, able-bodied dancers and sign language teachers cooperated skillfully, continuing to tell the story of the “Snowflake” of the Winter Olympics. Snowflakes are silent, but every flake that falls on the ground changes the world.
In the romantic melody, the colors in the painting are like a stream converging into the sea in the center of the venue, like a splendid sunrise, spraying and swaying. The dancers who are in harmony with the disabled use the light of life to illuminate the dreams of blind children. The silent symphony creates a more beautiful and splendid world in the hearts of countless disabled people.
The burning fire was collected from Mandeville, England, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, and came to China. Together with 8 fires collected from the three competition areas of Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, they were gathered into the official fire of the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games. In the “Bird’s Nest”, 8 disabled athletes torchbearers are full of the vision of “together to the future”, and they convey love and hope through the torches in their hands.
The last torchbearer, Li Duan, a blind athlete, walked step by step to the main torch platform in the shape of a “big snowflake”, and used his most warm sensory ability – touching and stroking small snowflakes. When the scene was quiet, the audience seemed to feel that he was touching the world and recognizing the world. After several attempts, the torch was finally inserted into the main torch stand. A shimmer of light, the candle illuminates the world.
On the evening of March 4, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics was held at the Beijing National Stadium. This is the last torchbearer Li Duan preparing to embed the torch in the center of the “big snowflake”.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Li Ga
Fireworks full of dreams light up the night sky and bloom colorfully. The Beijing Winter Paralympics opened in purity, warmth and color.
“Snowflake, snowflake, blooming in the sun…” The touching song of “Snowflake” resounded through the “Bird’s Nest” again. All the performers and audience at the scene expressed their wish to “go to the future together” with sign language and cheers, wishing for a warm spring and a better future together.
In the artistic conception of returning to the earth in spring, all human beings, including “15 percent of us”, are full of dreams and will write new glory in the history of the Winter Paralympics. (Reporters Huang Yao, Wang Ziming, Tai Sicong, Ma Kai)
[Editor in charge: Xu Dan]