Beijing is preparing another spectacular show for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Paralympic Games.
From the China Radio International website:
A spectacular rehearsal for the upcoming opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games will be held in the same iconic venue as the Olympic Games, the Bird's Nest, on Thursday night. No blaze of fireworks will appear in the rehearsal this time.
According to sources, the opening ceremony will last about three hours. Unlike the ceremony for the Olympics, the artistic performance will be preceded by the entrance of the athletes, making it easier for everyone to interact during the performance.
The opening ceremony of Beijing Paralympics will feature 6,000 actors, including some disabled performers.
The show encompasses three parts: the travel of space, time and life, previous media reports quoted Zhang Jigang, the artistic director of Paralympics ceremony, as saying. One portion will be staged in sign language by 320 deaf-mute performers, which is possibly the largest-ever performance of this kind.
There is certainly a lot less hoopla in the foreign media just two days ahead of the opening, but officials say opportunities to cover the games will be as extensive as they were for the main event last month. From China Daily:
More than 6,300 journalists, 47 of them disabled, from 13 countries and regions have been accredited to cover the Games, which start on Saturday, Sun said.
In the period between the two Games, both the MPC and IBC were adapted to better suit the needs of disabled reporters, he said.
Xinhua reports that: Beijing has about one million disabled people, about 6.49 percent of its total population. The hosting of the Paralympic Games, between Sept. 6 to 17, will accelerate the improvement of the lives of those with disabilities.
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