Asian Para Games open in Jakarta with "We Are One" ceremony
About 3,000 athletes from 43 countries and regions in Asia will compete in the 8-day competitions from Oct. 6-13. The competitions feature 18 sports, including track and field, swimming, badminton, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair volleyball, chess and others, Xinhua reports.
The opening ceremony started with visual effects of Indonesian tradtional batik art, followed by a whipping dancer performing a countdown with batik patterns on the curved screen.
A male dancer in a wheelchair danced with a female partner, meaning the harmonious unity of a society that accepts each other, regardless of their differences, kicked off the marching of athletes, the center piece of the opening ceremony.
China sent a 232-member team to compete in 15 out of the 18 sports of the competitions, the biggest delegation for China in the history of Asian Para Games. China have dominated the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled, a precursor to the Asian Para Games, since they competed for the first time in 1982, topping the medal tables for the last eight editions.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea marched into the GBK Main Stadium under a united flag "Korea" again, as the two nation's delegations did at the Asian Games a month ago.
Raja Sapta Oktohari, Chairman of the Asian Para Games organizing committee, and Majid Rashed, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee gave speeches on the ceremony, and Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, declared the opening of the Games.
After a series of dances full of Indonesian traditions and inspirations, torch-bearing athletes pass the torch to a digital figure, wayang, on the big screen, which lighted up the cauldron on the top of the screen.