Speech at the Closing Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
Liu Qi, BOCOG President
September 17, 2008
Respected President Hu Jintao and Mrs Hu,
Respected President Sir Philip Craven and Mrs Craven,
Respected President Jacques Rogge and Mrs Rogge,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends,
On this occasion of the successful conclusion of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, please allow me, on behalf of BOCOG, to extend my warmest congratulations to all the athletes who have participated in these Games.
I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the International Paralympic Committee, the National Paralympic Committees and the International Paralympic Sports Federations. My thanks also go to the volunteers who have always been so ready to help, and all our friends who have contributed to this Paralympic Games.
This Paralympic Games is a grand event embodying the concepts of "Transcendence, Integration and Equality". More than 4,000 Paralympic athletes from 147 countries and regions have been competing to offer their very best and to transcend themselves. They have accomplished remarkable achievements by breaking 279 world records and 339 Paralympic records. They have shown their positive attitude toward life, such as self-respect, self-confidence, self-improvement and self-reliance. They have sung a hymn to humanity by displaying their sporting excellence. Every Paralympic athlete has provided a unique interpretation of the value and significance of life through his or her fortitude and perseverance. It is indeed an exciting and educational experience to watch their performance in competition. All of them are masters of their own destinies. Let us pay high tribute to all the Paralympic athletes.
This Paralympic Games has also been a celebration for people with a disability, and an occasion where Paralympic athletes have shared the joy of success and the pleasure of participation through their hard work. Spectators and athletes interacted as their hearts beat together, creating a sea of jubilation in the Paralympic stadiums. Inspired by the Paralympic Games, more than 300,000 people with a disability in Beijing further integrated themselves into society, experiencing not only the charm of the Games but also the enthusiasm of the society. Thanks to the television broadcasts, friends with a disability throughout the world have been able to witness the magnificence of the Paralympic sports and share the wonderful moments of the Paralympic Games.
Finally, this Paralympic Games has been a great event to arouse public interest and to promote the cause for people with a disability. Owing to the Paralympic Games, the public accessible facilities in Beijing have been significantly improved, and moreover, an accessible bridge has also been formed to join our hearts. People with a disability need more understanding, care and love from the rest of society. Even a little love from each and every one of us will make the world more harmonious and beautiful.
Dear friends, time flies when we enjoy ourselves together. At this moment when the Paralympic flame is about to be extinguished, let us make a wish from the bottom of our hearts. May this holy flame, lit with passion, turn into a rainbow that will link all people with friendship and convey love to all people.
Now, I have the honor of inviting Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, to speak.