POSTED: August 31st 2017

Haidi Zhang is readying to lead the Paralympic Movement forward in the Asian region

Haidi Zhang is Executive President of Beijing 2022 © Beijing 2022
Haidi Zhang is Executive President of Beijing 2022 © Beijing 2022

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) With Asia set to host the next three straight Olympic and Paralympic Games, Haidi Zhang believes this is a chance for Asia to define the future of both the elite sports movements.

As Chairperson of China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF) and head of China's National Paralympic Committee (NPC), Zhang believes that Asia will pave the way to making "sport for all." The Asian cycle of Games will start with PyeongChang 2018, then Tokyo 2020, and will finish with Beijing 2022.

"It's wonderful to see our neighbors in Korea getting excited about the forthcoming Winter Olympics. As head of China's National Paralympic Committee, I share their enthusiasm, and am relishing supporting them," expressed Zhang.

This is a chance to define and shape the Paralympic Movement as the Para-sport is already very popular in the region. Also, the region is a perfect place with their commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and technology use.

Zhang went on to sight the eco-friendly measures in place for the three Games.

"PyeongChang has numerous infrastructure projects that are on track to make it the greenest Winter Games to date," commented Zhang.

She added, "Tokyo 2020 is aiming for 'minimum impact', while Beijing 2022, the Organizing Committee of which I am Executive President, want to go even further. Our use of venues from 2008 and our eco-friendly approach will showcase the legacy of sustainability."

She added how huge strides have been made in inclusivity and stated, "In both Olympic and Paralympic sport, we are seeing more inclusivity for the young and for women. We want sport for all."

In addition, Asia's world-leading technology can greatly help boost the Paralympic Movement to new heights.

"Technology can be used to appeal to youth, and ensure the future of our Games - look at the inclusion of e-games at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games," said Zhang.

She went on to say, "Tech is very important to Paralympians, as we often rely on it, from advanced prosthetics to wheelchairs developed in wind tunnels...Technological progress is a crucial part of improving the lives of people with an impairment."

Moreover, Zhang hopes to oversee these changes and the growth of the Paralympic Movement as the newly elected International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President. The election will be held during the IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi on September 8.

"My goal is to be able to hand over to the next generation of leaders a strong, confident and growing IPC, one that is a model of diversity and inclusion, and on a strong financial footing," expressed Zhang.

** 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 · Haidi Zhang · IPC · Olympics · IOC · Paralympics

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