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  • Chris McMillan

Games breaking down the barriers

China Daily

17th May 2021

Games breaking down the barriers


Organizers, property owners and public health experts have joined forces on a special task force to develop a set of meticulous COVID-19 countermeasures to guarantee everyone's safety at the Games.

The construction and refurbishment of 25 non-competition venues for media operations, ceremonies and accommodation will be completed by August, laying a solid foundation for the 10-day Paralympics to proceed as planned.

"After running tests in competition organization and the operation of transport, security and medical services, we are now 100 percent confident that the event will be held on schedule and in a safe manner for all participants," said Yang Jinkui, Beijing 2022's director of the Paralympic Games.

Still, some tweaks are required-such as the length and angle of wheelchair ramps at certain venues-in order to perfect the Games experience for all para-athletes, Yang added.

Having hosted the Summer Paralympics in 2008, organizers hope Beijing's role reprisal will benefit the everyday lives of disabled people in China.

"The efforts and sacrifices of all para-athletes deserve more attention and support, not just for the 10-day period during the Paralympics but also for the longer term throughout their careers," said Yang Yang, a retired Winter Olympic champion speed skater and chairman of Beijing 2022's athletes commission.

"The focus on barrier-free facilities will be extended after the Games to help make real changes in communities and commercial sports facilities, providing equal access and convenience for people with disabilities to be able to enjoy ice and snow sports," added Yang Yang.

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