Xi'an (China) Oct 23: The 11th National Games for Persons with Disabilities and the 8th National Special Olympic Games opened here on Friday in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
It's the first time that the two Games, which run from October 22 to 29, will be held in the same province and during the same year as the National Games of China, which concluded its 14th edition on September 27.
On Friday evening, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan officially declared the two Games open in a ceremony held at the Xi'an Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium.
Among those present are Wang Yong, State Councilor and director of State Council Working Committee on Disability, as well as Shaanxi governor Zhao Yide, director of China's General Administration of Sport Gou Zhongwen, and director of the Executive Council of China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF) Zhou Changkui.
The grand multi-sport gala features 4,484 disabled athletes in 43 sports, including summer, winter and mass ones, with 34 of them for the Games for Persons with Disabilities and nine for the Special Olympic Games.
The 35 participating delegations represent China's provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
The competitions of archery, wheelchair basketball and rowing, among others, have already concluded before the opening ceremony.
Over 6,700 disabled athletes, coaches, referees and other staff members will participate in the two Games during the following seven days.
Under the theme of "Dream for All," the performances at the opening ceremony consist of three chapters, namely "Warmth," "Resilience" and "Blossom."
After the National Games for Persons with Disabilities was inaugurated in 1984, and the National Special Olympic Games was initiated in 1987, the two Games started to hold simultaneously since 2015 in China's southwest Sichuan province.
Xi'an, the capital city of Shaanxi, is known across the world for the Terracotta Warriors.