Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games torch relay to start on Wednesday
The torch relay for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games is scheduled to run from March 2 to 4, with 565 torchbearers participating in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou competition zones, the Beijing 2022 introduced at a press conference on Tuesday.
As the Paralympic Heritage Flame for the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games was lit on Monday in Stoke Mandeville, a village northwest of London that is recognized as the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, the flame will also be collected at eight other locations in Beijing and Zhangjiakou. Each collection will be followed by a relay of no more than 20 torchbearers on-site before the gathering of nine flames at the Temple of Heaven on Wednesday afternoon.
On Thursday morning, the torch relay will take place in four places in Zhangjiakou, In the afternoon, the torch relay will be held at two places in Beijing, including the Olympic Forest South Park inside the closed-loop, where more than 20 torchbearers from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Family will deliver the torch.
On Friday, the torch relay will continue at three more locations including the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) headquarter.
According to Yan Cheng, director-general of Human Resources Department of BOCOG, the 565 torchbearers were recruited and selected by the International Olympic Committee(IOC), BOCOG, China Disabled Persons' Federation, Beijing and Hebei Province, with 21 percent of torchbearers being people with disabilities, higher than IPC's requirement of 15 percent.
During the torch relay, some people with disabilities will use upper and lower limb assisted exoskeleton robots to help them carry the torch. After months of adaptive training with assisted exoskeleton devices, they can grasp the torch autonomously and walk upright.
BOCOG deputy secretary-general Xu Zhijun said it is to convey the concept of "technology changes life and makes impossible possible" to people with disabilities in that way, which is also in line with the torch relay concept of the Beijing Winter Paralympic Games.