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BRIEF (Page: 16, Date: 01/12/2006)
Harbin hosts special athletes
The Fourth China Special Olympics will be held in July and August in Harbin of Heilongjiang Province.
The event, organized by the China Disabled Persons' Federation, the China General Administration for Sports, the China Special Olympics Committee, the Heilongjiang Provincial Government and the China National Petroleum Corporation, will attract 1900 mentally disabled athletes representing 35 delegations. The competition, opening on July 29 and closing on August 5, features track and field, swimming, weightlifting, table tennis, basketball, soccer, roller-skating and badminton.
Special Olympics are the sports games for people who are mentally disabled. The Special Olympics inaugurated in 1968 in Chicago with two countries taking part. The last and the 11th version was held in Dublin in 2003 with over 100 countries and regions joining in.
China began its participation in the Special Olympics in the 1980s, reaching an explosion of interest when the number of participating athletes increased tenfold from 50,000 to over 500,000 in the last five years.
Shanghai will welcome more than 7,000 mentally disabled people from 170 countries and regions to compete in 28 sports in the 2007 world's Special Olympics.
Snowboarding heats up at Nanshan Open
The season-ending Snicker Nanshan Open was a party for the participants from home and abroad.
Held at Nanshan Ski Resort in the suburbs of Beijing last weekend, the event is the last stop of the Mellow Snowpark tour, which started in Shanghai's Nokia Qixing Indoor Ski Park.
Over 40 snowboarders from countries, including China, Canada, Switzerland and Germany, joined in the nation's biggest snowboard tournament, a two-day event that combined the finals for the tour on Saturday and a separate tricks contest on Sunday.
Alan Wong from the United States took the first place in the men's group while Yin Di from China's Quicksilver team came out on top on the women's side.
With the top finishing score in the second stage held in Hebei's Wanlong Ski Resort, Wong had already accumulated 21 points from the two stops to lead the group and it his flawless show secured his first ever national tour title. He was then awarded a week-long snowboarding tour in Austria together with other European top boarders.
(China Daily 01/12/2006 page16)
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