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Global media: Opening ceremony of Beijing Paralympics moves whole world

2008-09-07 03:22:32 GMT2008-09-07 11:22:32 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The international media was enthralled by the spectacular performances of opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympic Games late Saturday, saying the whole world had been moved.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ran a live broadcast of the opening ceremony presented by Clare Balding and Steve Cram.

Calling it "impressive" and "stunning," Cram said the discipline and unison demonstrated by the young performers "shows the best of Chinese young people," which will definitely "inspire" the young audiences in the country.

Britain's ex-Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson told Balding at the BBC studio outside the Bird's Nest right after the opening ceremony that the ceremony was "very emotional" with so many disabled people participating in the performance.

Normally when the opening ceremonies ended at previous Paralympics, she added, audiences would leave right afterwards to maybe catch a bus. But people didn't leave very soon this time.

Ade Adepitan, another British Paralympian, said he was not a person who is easily impressed by any grandeur, but he was "touched" by the little ballerina from China's earthquake-hit Sichuan province.

"This is more than just sports. It's about life, hope and not giving up," he noted.

In South Africa, the TV Channel Super Sport Saturday broadcast live the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympic Games, speaking highly of the ceremony and hailing the performances as "spectacular" and "beautiful."

The 2008 Beijing Paralympics is the largest sports gathering for the disabled, and China, as the host country, is trying to create a kind of "homecoming" atmosphere for all the handicapped athletes all over the world, to express the best wishes of "One World, One Dream," the broadcast said.

Sabastiao Inacio Junior, an official of Angola's Ministry of Information, told Xinhua that the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics was like nothing he had seen before.

"So admirable and amazing," he said, "it is as good as the 2008 Olympics."

The official said the Angolan athletes should like the colorful fireworks and bring honor for Angola, adding that "he hoped the Angolan athletes will bring medals home this time."

He is confident that Angolan blind athlete Jose Sayovo, Africa's champion of 100m and 400m races, will be able to realize Angolans' dream to win a medal at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

Japan's major broadcaster NHK, or Nippon Hoso Kyokai, broadcasted the ceremony live on its educational channel. When the ceremony started, Akira Takahashi, former head coach of Japan's national wheelchair basketball team and one of the commentators, said the fervor of the Beijing Olympics had returned to the Bird's Nest, China's National Stadium.

Holding the Paralympics in China will boost the sport cause of the handicapped all over the world, Takahashi said.

Kyodo News reported that China feted the Paralympics with a gala opening ceremony, saying athletes were given a warm and enthusiastic reception by an audience of 90,000 people as they paraded into the National Stadium.

The brisk performance of the brilliantly-dressed dancers and the beautiful melody played by the blind pianist demonstrated the love for nature and the delight in life, it said.

Spectators were then treated to a lavish display of music, dance, fireworks and slick visual effects, Kyodo said.

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