Beijing Winter Paralympics bring world warmth, human touch: Global Times editorial

The waves triggered by Bing Dwen Dwen, the cute panda mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, are continuing, and Shuey Rhon Rhon has followed. On Friday, the Paralympic Winter Games kicked off. The opening ceremony, with the theme “Blossoming of Life,” is a continuation of the warmth and human touch that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games brought to the world and makes the significance of this event go beyond sports. Letting go of the barriers of countries and races and breaking through the shadow of war and disputes, the calling for “Together for a Shared Future” unites people around the world and promotes a peaceful and more inclusive world.

March 4 was the second day of the second month in the Chinese lunar calendar. On this day, there is a folk saying that “the dragon raises its head.” The Beijing Winter Olympics gave people the budding hope and vitality of early spring, and the “dragon raises its head” symbolizes the vitality and color of all things.

At the Beijing Winter Olympics, athletes challenged the limits of human beings and allowed the audience to enjoy a visual feast; the Winter Paralympics will provide athletes a platform to show the world self-esteem, self-confidence, self-improvement and self-reliance. Their spirit of self-improvement and hard work and the inspiration and emotions they bring to the global audience will also have a long-lasting effect.

Since the first Winter Paralympics in Sweden(Nyheter) in 1976, the Winter Paralympic Games have continued to grow and become a stage for the world’s athletes with disabilities to demonstrate their competitive levels and the value of life, and also build a bridge of friendship for the world. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging and some regions are plunged in great uncertainty, but the Beijing Winter Paralympics are still held as scheduled. This is China’s new contribution to promoting the development of the Olympic cause and the cause of the disabled.

Facts have once again proven to the world that China is worth trusting. China has presented a simple, safe and splendid Winter Olympics to the world. Athletes from all over the world can communicate and compete here without any worries. We are confident toward and capable of hosting a same splendid Paralympic Winter Games to ensure that athletes with disabilities can show the beauty of life to the fullest in a beautiful, barrier-free experience. People will see that despite the changing international situation, the three core values of the Olympics – Excellence, Respect and Friendship – will still shine brightly at the Beijing Winter Paralympics, and the belief in unity and peace will once again be upheld.

Honorary Life President of the IOC Juan Antonio Samaranch once said sports for the disabled could awaken the conscience of mankind. There are more than a billion people with disabilities in the world, accounting for about 15 percent of the world’s population. China is home to over 85 million people with various disabilities. The Beijing Winter Paralympics have provided a window to allow the world to see their existence, efforts and hardships. The Games have also offered the world an opportunity to applaud for the unremitting efforts athletes made to improve themselves and urge society to care for persons with disabilities. Promoting peace, inclusiveness and integration is the important connotation of the name of Winter Paralympics mascot Shuey Rhon Rhon and also the warm message it conveys to the world.

On the eve of the opening of the Beijing Winter Paralympics, China’s State Council Information Office published a white paper titled “China’s Parasports: Progress and the Protection of Rights.” It revealed that the participation rate in grassroots cultural and sports activities for persons with disabilities has increased from 6.8 percent in 2015 to 23.9 percent in 2021 in China. In the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games, there will be guide dogs wearing the anti-counterfeiting traceability code as well as many high-tech facilities and services that serve persons with disabilities. Beijing has made considerate preparations for the Paralympic Winter Games no less than the previous Winter Olympics. Beijing has worked with meticulous attention and conscientiously to fulfill the spirit of the Paralympic movement. This is a natural international extension of the Chinese government’s philosophy of “exercising governance for the people.”

At the opening ceremony, the last torchbearer was a blind athlete. When he fumbled several times and tried to insert the torch into the snowflake cauldron, the audience cheered for him; when the torch stayed in the center of the big snowflake, the whole stadium burst into applause. This scene is moving. Some netizens said, “Although he can’t see the light, he lights up the night sky for us.” This night, fireworks filled the sky and life blossomed. Surprises and hopes that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics brought to the people have been engraved in history, and so will the warmth and human touch the Winter Paralympics will bring.

“The two Olympics will be equally wonderful.” We expect on the Paralympic fields, athletes will inject peace, warmth and positive energy into this turbulent world with their friendship, courage and strength.

Source: Global Times