Media accreditation for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, which is
being billed as a "Games of Equal Splendor" and is expected to
attract an unprecedented degree of media coverage, is under
discussion for those who want to cover the September 6-17 event
"Some 4,000 journalists, in comparison to 3,000 or so who
covered the recent editions of the Paralympics Games, will come to
cover the 2008 Paralympics and many of them are from the domestic
media," said Zhang Qiuping, director of the Paralympics Games
Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the
XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
At previous Paralympics, the media did not need to register in
order to cover the Games, but this time BOCOG is making it a
In recent years, China has become more aware of the needs of
people with disabilities due in part to the country's rapid
economic growth and the success of athletes at international events
such as the Paralympics. This has led to more interest in the Games
from Chinese media.
Since China first participated in the 1984 Paralympics,
co-hosted by Stoke Mandeville, UK, and New York, the world has seen
China's dramatic rise at the sporting event.
It finished 16th in the overall medal tally at the Barcelona
Paralympics in 1992, then rose steadily over the years to lead the
tally in Athens with 141 medals, including 63 golds.
The recently hosted 7th National Games for the Disabled in Yunnan Province saw 91 new world records
broken and packed stadiums at marquee competitions like wheelchair
basketball, swimming and athletics.
"We will send our largest delegation, maybe larger than that of
any other country, to the 2008 Paralympics," said Jia Yong,
director of the Sports Department at the China Disabled Persons'
"Now we are not sure how many gold medals we can get, because
after the Athens Games, things have changed a lot. Our goal is not
to get the most medals, but to take part in more sports."
China is strong in swimming, table tennis and power lifting,
which do not require much in the way of training resources, Jia
said, but lags in more sophisticated sports like equestrian and
Related sports organizations are trying new ways to develop
these sports. Guangdong Province and Qingdao city are now
helping train athletes for equestrian and sailing events,
A comprehensive training center for the disabled athletes will
be completed in July in Beijing.
To make sure more Chinese disabled athletes can qualify for the
2008 Games, China has already sent some 1,500 people to participate
in international events and some 400 have already secured Olympic
(China Daily June 1, 2007)