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“I want to make myself seen by the world”

By Sun Long Fei, People’s Daily

“I’m not able to see the world, but I want to make myself seen by the world,” said Chinese Paralympian Wang Yue, who competed in the women’s middle distance vision impaired Para biathlon at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.

Though she missed the medal, competing on the world stage has already brought her excitement.

Para biathlon is an event combining skiing and shooting, which tests athletes’ willpower, physical strength and stamina. It is divided into sitting, standing, and visually impaired categories.

Athletes with vision impairments can only aim by hearing the sound signals made by their rifles when shooting, and they have to follow their guides to finish the skiing part. It’s not hard to imagine how difficult it is for them.

For people with disabilities, sports have led them to a broader world and are helping them better fit into the society. “To make myself seen by the world” is a common aspiration of these physically challenged athletes, which is perfectly explained by the smile on their faces. It’s not just about whether they have won the medals.

The perseverance shown by the disabled athletes at the Paralympic Games is a unique beauty of life.

After hitting the finish line first, Chinese para snowboarder Ji Lijia laid prone on the snow. When he stood up, tears were seen in his eyes. Behind his achievement was his faith to always challenge himself and make his country proud.

Chinese para alpine skier Zhang Mengqiu claimed gold at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, too. Her success came from painstaking training and endless efforts in narrowing the gap between herself and world-class athletes.

A man with disability skis under the assistance of a volunteer in Chaoyang, northeast China's Liaoning province, Jan. 20, 2022. (Photo by Qiu Yijun/People's Daily Online)
A man with disability skis under the assistance of a volunteer in Chaoyang, northeast China’s Liaoning province, Jan. 20, 2022. (Photo by Qiu Yijun/People’s Daily Online)

Hard work never fails those who strive for their dreams. The courage and independence of disabled athletes are an inspiration for all.

As the host of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, China has seen remarkable progress in the development of winter sports for people with disabilities. The Chinese people also have a deeper understanding of Paralympic sports.

In the Para biathlon game, the great teamwork between vision impaired athlete Yang Qianru and her guide Yu Hongshun constituted a touching picture, which mirrored the important role played by sports in improving the mutual understanding between the able-bodied and people with disabilities and in advancing social progress.

In recent years, China has hosted a series of major international sports events for people with disabilities, including the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games. Chinese disabled athletes are gradually getting to the center of the world stage of para sports.

The Chinese delegation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games has set records in both the number of Paralympians and the number of events they participated in. Around 88.5 percent of the Chinese Paralympians competed in a Winter Paralympic Games for the first time. It indicated the dynamic development of winter sports for people with disabilities in China.

Growth is achieved and dreams realized through hard work. The inspiration we get from disabled athletes is beyond sports.

A curling game for disabled people is held at a sports base in Changxing county, Huzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, April 29, 2021. (Photo by Tan Yunfeng/People's Daily Online)
A curling game for disabled people is held at a sports base in Changxing county, Huzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, April 29, 2021. (Photo by Tan Yunfeng/People’s Daily Online)

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