Flame for Asian Para Games arrives in Hangzhou
Published: Oct 12, 2023 10:31 PM
Flame lighting ceremony for Hangzhou Asian Para Games Photo:VCG

Flame lighting ceremony for Hangzhou Asian Para Games Photo:VCG

The flame for the upcoming Asian Para Games arrived in Hangzhou, the host city in Zhejiang Province, on October 12, after the torch was lit in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, the host city for 2010 Asian Para Games earlier that day.

The flame lighting ceremony took place in the Guangzhou Sports Culture Museum, which also serves as the museum for the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games.  

Guangzhou was the host of the inaugural Asian Para Games in 2010. After the end of the 2010 Games, the flame was preserved permanently within the Guangzhou Sports Culture Museum, as a symbol of unity, determination and the unbroken legacy of the Asian Para Games.

The flame in Guangzhou, which was collected in 2010 at the China Millennium Monument in Beijing, the host city for 1990 Asian Games, has been burning for 13 years. 

This symbolic journey not only embodied the core values and objectives of the Asian Para Games but also emphasized the continuity of the disabled athletes' spirit throughout Asia.

Following the conclusion of the ceremony, the flame embarked on a journey aboard the G1302 train, marking the first time in the history of the Asian Para Games that high-speed rail would be used to transport the sacred flame.

Du Zuofeng, a senior official of the torch relay department of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games organizing committee, said choosing Guangzhou to light the torch aligned with Hangzhou's commitment to hosting a cost-effective games, as it allowed for substantial savings in related costs.

"The fire [for the 2023 Para Games] was lit here to reflect the continuation of the spirit and conceptual purpose of the Asian Para Games, as well as the passing on of the flame of the Asian Para Games," Du told reporters.

The torch relay of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games will take place on October 19 and run until the opening ceremony of the Para Games on October 22. 

The Chinese delegation is considered the strongest at the Asian Para Games, topping the medal table three times with 185 gold medals in Guangzhou in 2010, followed by 174 in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014 and 172 in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2018.

The Chinese delegation for the Hangzhou Para Games consists of 723 people with a total of 439 athletes. Some 215 athletes from the delegation will make their debut at the Asian Para Games. 

The athletes, with an average age of 26.5 years, will compete in 22 sports and 397 events at the Games. The youngest athlete is 13 years old.

Athletics, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wheelchair fencing, badminton, cycling, and archery are some of the events in which China excels.

After the closing of the Asian Games, Hangzhou has undergone a barrier-free transition to upgrade its public spaces for people with disabilities. Among the 19 competition venues for the Hangzhou Asian Games, 17 will be reused for the Para Games.