POSTED: August 1st 2017

Paralympics: Presidential candidate Zhang hails success of China and calls for increased participation in Para-sports worldwide

China is one of the strongest nations in paralympic sports © Getty Images
China is one of the strongest nations in paralympic sports © Getty Images

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The President of the Republic of China's National Paralympic Committee (NPC), Haidi Zhang has promised to help in transforming Para-sports worldwide after China's dominance of the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

"I'd like to congratulate China on their wonderful performances in London and Samsun...But in my vision, we are not working for gold medals; we are working for global participation in Para-sports," expressed President Haidi.

China finished London 2017 with 65 total medals with 30 being gold. China also won an impressive number of medals at 34 total at the Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey.

Haidi said, "It is not how many medals one will win that counts, it is letting sports inspire people with disabilities to live a better life. The challenge has just begun...As the leader of China's Paralympic movement, my team and I have helped transform the life chances of my country people. We made continuous developments, and more people with impairment began to practice sports."

She added, "Since I was elected as Chairperson in 2008, I, together with my colleagues, have called on the country to formulate and improve laws and regulations to protect the rights and interests of people with disabilities and do more practical work for them. The living conditions of 85 million people with disabilities in China have continued to improve. Over the past five years, more than 4.4 million people with disabilities in rural areas have been lifted out of poverty. Eliminating discrimination and giving equal opportunities to people with disabilities are important humanitarian concepts."

As President of China's NPC, Haidi Zhang has been a part of shaping the excellent facilities and training opportunities that are available to the country's best-disabled athletes. Haidi sighted the increased participation as a critical factor for China's great results.

"I've worked with my team to improve the lives of the 85 million Chinese living with impairments...More than 8 million of those people now participate in sport. We have introduced more than 28 billion US dollars of care and support programs since 2008, developing major international cooperation projects and opening rehabilitation institutions in all Chinese provinces and municipalities," commented President Haidi.

China's success is a testament to the hard work done by President Haidi. Now she is ready to take her success to a global level with her presidential candidacy for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).  

She stated, "If elected as the president of the IPC, my mission would be to encourage the same levels of participation on a global basis...My goals will not be complete until all those living with impairment enjoy access to better lives through sport. This is why I am uniquely positioned to lead the IPC."

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · IPC · Para-sports · China · Haidi Zhang · Olympics · Paralympics

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