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China's Paralympic history
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After watching the "truly exceptional" Summer Olympis as spectators, China's Paralympic athletes are looking to repeat their Athens glory in Beijing.

With a biggest-ever 547-member delegation, China will start their seventh Paralympic tour on Sunday, competing in all the 20 events and 295 disciplines.

The past six Paralympics have witnessed the high-spirited and vigorous progress made by Chinese. Here are some facts about China's Paralympic history:

1984 Stoke Mandeville & New York

-- The 1984 Paralympic Games were held in Europe and North America. China made its Paralympic debut in the New York Games by sending 24 athletes who competed in athletics, swimming and table tennis.

China finished 23rd at the gold tally with two golds, 13 silvers and nine bronzes, including the country's first ever Paralympic gold won by Ping Yali.

The Games turned out as a success despite a short preparation period of four months. The organizers agreed that the future Games should be held at one place.

1988 Seoul

-- China's 43 athletes participated in athletics, swimming, table tennis and shooting. A total of 44 medals including 17 golds lifted China to the 14th place among 61 delegations on the gold standings.

The Seoul Paralympic Games took place at Olympic venues.

1992 Barcelona

-- China sent a 24-athlete delegation to the 9th Paralympics and was ranked 12th place on the gold tally with 11 golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.

The organizing committee reduced the number of athletes by setting strict rules in order to enhance the credibility of the Games. Athletes with different disabilities were allowed to participate in the same events.

1996 Atlanta

-- Thirty-seven athletes over six sports clinched 16 gold medals, pushing China to the ninth place on the gold tally.

For the first time, athletes with an intellectual disability took part in this Games, along with athletes with spinal cord disabilities, cerebral palsy, amputations, les autres and visual impairments.

2000 Sydney

-- China sent 87 athletes to six sports in the Games, which included goalball, judo and powerlifting for the first time. A total of 73 medals including 34 golds propelled China to the sixth place on the gold tally.

The Sydney Paralympics, which offered 550 gold medals, marked the first-time participation of female athletes in powerlifting.

A total of 300 world and Paralympic records were set over 18 events in Sydney.

2004 Athens

-- China sent 200 athletes to take part in 11 events at the Athens Paralympics. With a historic 141 medals including 63 golds, China topped the medal standings for the first time.

Women's judo and volleyball (sitting) made their first appearance in Athens. China won the first gold medal in women's volleyball, beating the Netherlands 3-1.

At the closing ceremony, the new logo of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was unveiled as the Paralympic flag with the three "Agitos" was raised in the stadium.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2008)

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