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Exoskeleton to assist bearers at Beijing Winter Paralympics torch relay, songs will light fire

Global Times

3rd March 2022

Exoskeleton to assist bearers at Beijing Winter Paralympics torch relay, songs will light fire

By Global Times

An exoskeleton will assist torch bearers during the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games torch relay, which will be conducted from Wednesday to Friday in the three competition areas in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, the event's organizing committee revealed on Tuesday.

One torch bearer with upper limb disabilities will be able to take part in the relay after nine months of adaptation training wearing the exoskeleton. Another torch bearer with lower limb disabilities had five months of training for the mission. The two will join the torch relay at Shougang Park in Beijing on Friday, according to the press conference.

A total of 565 torch bearers will join the Paralympics relay, and one-fifth of them have disabilities, higher than the 15-percent requirement of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), said Yan Cheng, an organizing committee member.

Unlike the Winter Olympics flame that was collected in Ancient Olympia in Greece, the Paralympics flame can be contributed by individuals, organizations and cities. The flames collected from different communities together constitute the Paralympics flame.

The Beijing Winter Paralympics flame is being collected from nine places, one from Stoke Mandeville in the UK, where the modern Paralympics originated. The other eight places include schools, a library of Braille books and some landmarks.

At the site where the Beijing 2008 Summer Paralympics flame was collected, the Winter Paralympics flame will be collected from the sun by a concave mirror. At a school for the blind people in Beijing, students and teachers will sing, and when the sound is loud enough, a sensor will be activated to light the fire.

The Global Times learned that at the Temple of Heaven, a flame will be collected in a traditional way, and all flames will be combined at the temple to start the torch relay.

These flame-collecting sites reflect the independence and self-improvement of people with disabilities, and the development of welfare for the disabled, according to the press conference.

Street decorations and signs have already been converted for the Winter Paralympics and there will be light shows at Olympics core areas, as well as in the Wangjing area in northeastern Beijing and the CBD area.

The Winter Paralympics will be held from Friday to March 14 and the mascot Shuey Rhon Rhon, inspired by a red Chinese lantern, is ready to dominate social media.

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