Definition: Defining the Meaning of 2008 Paralympic Games
The 2008 Summer Paralympic Games, the thirteenth Paralympics, took place in Beijing, China from September 6 to 17, 2008. As with the 2008 Summer Olympics, equestrian events were held in Hong Kong and sailing events in Qingdao. 3,951 athletes from 146 countries took part.
The 2008 Summer Paralympic Games, the thirteenth Paralympics, took place in Beijing, China from September 6 to September 17, 2008. Mainland China fielded more athletes than any other country.
As with the 2008 Summer Olympics, equestrian events were held in Hong Kong and sailing events in Qingdao.
Over 4,200 athletes from 148 countries took part in the 2008 games
This was the largest ever number of nations at the Paralympics (twelve more than in Athens), and several countries competed for the first time.
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Philip Craven declared the Games "the greatest Paralympic Games ever."
The torch relay of the 2008 Summer Paralympics started from Tian Tan (Temple of Heaven) on August 28.
The flame then gathered before The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and followed two routes (the "Route of Ancient China" and the "Route of Modern China"). Both routes returned to Beijing on September 5, and the torch was flamed at the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on September 6.
The pre-ceremony performance was a succession of various musical performances, ranging from military music to folk music and a performance of Ode to Joy. Following a countdown, a fireworks display signaled the beginning of the ceremony proper. The national flag of China was then raised, in accordance with usual protocol, and the national anthem of China performed.
Quick Facts: 2008 Paralympics
- Rowing made its first appearance in the Paralympics at these games.
- The mascot was a cartoon cow named Fu Niu Lele, roughly meaning "Lucky Ox Happy"
- The theme song, sung by well known and popular Cantonese singer Andy Lau was 'Flying with the Dream'.
- The 2008 Paralympic Games slogan was the same as the 2008 Summer Olympics, "One World, One Dream".
- Many of the world's weaker sporting nations also made their breakthroughs in Beijing.
- A record 76 countries and regions won medals, two more than the previous high in Athens in 2004.
- Several delegations won either their first-ever gold medal or first medal of any color.