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.
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.