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The 2008 Summer Paralympic Games, the thirteenth Paralympics, took place in Beijing, China from September 6 to September 17, 2008. As with the 2008 Summer Olympics, equestrian events were held in Hong Kong and sailing events in Qingdaomarker.

Over 4,200 athletes from 148 countries were expected to take part. This was the largest ever number of nations at the Paralympics (twelve more than in Athens), and several countries competed for the first time. China fielded more athlete than any other country. The slogan for the 2008 Paralympics was the same as the 2008 Summer Olympics, "One World, One Dream" ( Pinyin Tóng yīge shìjìe tóng yīge mèngxiǎng, lit. "One World, One Dream"). China dominated the medal count finishing with 89 gold medals and 211 total medals, more than double the next-ranked NPC in both cases.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Philip Craven declared the Games "the greatest Paralympic Games ever."


Nineteen competition venues—seventeen in Beijing, one in Hong Kong, and one in Qingdaomarker—have been selected for the 2008 Summer Paralympics.

  1. Beijing National Stadiummarker (Birds Nest)
  2. Beijing National Aquatics Centermarker (Water Cube)
  3. Beijing National Indoor Stadiummarker (Fan)
  4. Fencing Gymnasium of Olympic Green Convention Centremarker
  5. Olympic Green Archery Fieldmarker
  6. Olympic Green Hockey Fieldmarker
  7. Olympic Green Tennis Centremarker (Flowers)
  8. Peking University Gymnasiummarker
  9. Beihang University Gymnasiummarker
  10. China Agricultural University Gymnasiummarker
  11. Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasiummarker
  12. Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasiummarker
  13. Beijing Shooting Range Hallmarker
  14. Laoshan Mountain Bike Course
  15. Workers Gymnasiummarker
  16. Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Parkmarker
  17. Triathlon Venuemarker
  18. Hong Kong Equestrian Venuesmarker
  19. Qingdao International Sailing Centremarker



The emblem, "Sky, Earth, and Human Beings" ( ), is a multicolored Chinese character "之" ( ) stylized as an athletic figure in motion. The red, blue, and green in the emblem represent sun, sky, and earth.


The slogan is the same as the 2008 Summer Olympics, "One World, One Dream".

Lele, mascot of the 2008 Summer Paralympics


The mascot is a cartoon cow named Fu Niu Lele ( ), roughly meaning "Lucky Ox 'Happy'".

Theme song

The theme song, sung by Han Hong, well known and popular Cantonese singer Andy Lau is 'Flying with the Dream' .

Torch Relay

The torch relay of the 2008 Summer Paralympics started from Tian Tanmarker (Temple of Heaven) on August 28. The flame then gathered before The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿) 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 Stadiummarker during the Opening Ceremony on September 6.

The Games

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony took place on September 6, 2008. 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 signalled 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. Performers wearing suits in bright colours paraded round the stadium, as a welcoming ceremony preceding the athletes' entry. As with the 2008 Summer Olympics, the ceremony included a parade of nations, with a flag bearer for each national team. Contrary to Olympic tradition, the national team of Greece did not enter first; the host country came last. As Chinese is written in characters and not letters, the order of the teams' entry was determined by the number of strokes in the first character of their respective countries' Simplified Chinese names. Countries with the same number of strokes in the first character are sorted by those of the next character. This made Guineamarker (幾內亞) the first country to enter as it takes two strokes to write the first character in the country's name (幾). Following the athletes' parade, a performance took place, divided into chapters and sub-chapters entitled the "Journey of Space" and "Journey of Life" The sunbird performance entailed Yang Haitao (楊海濤), a singer with a visual impairment, singing about dreams while an acrobat in sunbird costume descended in simulated flight from the air and "awakened the blind singer from his sleep". The ceremony concludes with Hou Bin, the high jump gold medalist with one leg lighting the flame cauldron.

Closing ceremony

The 2008 Summer Paralympics closing ceremony was held at the Beijing National Stadiummarker. It began at 8:00 pm China Standard Time (UTC+8) on September 17, 2008.


Twenty sports are on the program:

Rowing made its first appearance in the Paralympics at these games.


Participating NPCs

The following National Paralympic Committees sent delegations to compete. Macaumarker and the Faroe Islandsmarker are members of the International Paralympic Committeemarker, but not of the International Olympic Committeemarker; hence they participate in the Paralympic Games but not in the Olympics.

Medal count

The top ten ranked NPCs at these Games are listed below. (Host nation is highlighted)

1 89 70 52 211
2 42 29 31 102
3 36 35 28 99
4 24 18 32 74
5 23 29 27 79
6 21 3 6 30
7 19 10 21 50
8 18 22 23 63
9 16 14 17 47
10 15 21 22 58

Events Highlights


Local coverage

  • Australia - Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker (ABC) will present coverage of the Paralympic Games, on ABC1 and ABC2.
  • Brazil - SporTV2 and Terra Networks (online)
  • Canada - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is providing coverage on their television and radio networks as well as extensive online coverage at CBC Paralympics in English. TV coverage consists of four digest shows. In French, Radio Canada (SRC), CBC's French language arm, is providing coverage in the form of two digests on television, with news articles on the web.
  • China, People's Republic of - Chinese Central Television (CCTV) provides coverage on CCTV-5 and CCTV-7.
  • France - Eurosport
  • Japan - NHKmarker
  • Norway - NRKmarker
  • Sweden - Sveriges Television
  • Turkey - TRT
  • United States of America - Universal Sports, an online subsidiary of NBC Universal, provides live streaming of selected Paralympic Games events (free registration required).
  • United Kingdom - BBC is providing extensive coverage on television, and online.

In France, following the Games, Philippe Juvin, national secretary of the governing Union for a Popular Movement, accused national public television network France Télévisionsmarker of having practiced "segregation" by providing live coverage of the Beijing Olympics but only ten minute daily summaries of events, outside prime time, for the Beijing Paralympics. France Télévisions replied that it would take Juvin to court for slander.

While the Games were not broadcast live in the United States, NBC will be broadcasting a documentary featuring highlights and athlete profiles on November 9, 2008 at 2:30 pm/ET. Universal Sports, NBC's Olympic-themed cable channel, will show seven nights of Paralympic event coverage beginning November 10, 2008 at 7 pm/ET. There will be four hours of coverage each evening, including the opening and closing ceremonies.

See also


  1. "More than 4,200 Athletes to Compete at Beijing Paralympics", Xinhua, August 24, 2008
  2. "CPC announces Canadian team for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games in China", Canadian Paralympic Committee, July 8, 2008
  4. Beijing Paralympics Emblem - The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
  5. Introduction to the Design of Fu Niu Lele - The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
  6. "Full Coverage: The Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games", Xinhua, September 6, 2008
  7. Peopledaily. "" China opens Beijing Paralympic Games in celebration of life and humanity. Retrieved on September 14, 2008.
  8. English People's Daily. " People's daily." 2008 Olympics Closing Ceremony - Beijing. Retrieved on September 28, 2008.
  9. Official list, International Paralympic Committee
  10. "Terra transmite ao vivo os Jogos Paraolímpicos", Terra Networks, September 5, 2008 . Accessed May 1, 2009. Archived June 1, 2009.
  11. "Paralympiques: L'UMP accuse", Journal du dimanche, September 19, 2008
  12. "Jeux paralympiques: France TV va attaquer Juvin (UMP) pour diffamation", Agence France-Presse, September 18, 2008
  13. NBC to Air Stirring Documentary on 2008 Paralympics" TV Guide. November 7, 2008. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.

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