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Team China passes century mark on medal table at Rio Paralympics


09-19-2016 05:37 BJT

As the Paralympics continue, China has become only the third country in the history of the event to win more than 100 gold medals at a single edition of the games. And the cheering crowds have been impressed not only with this tally but also by the spirit of the athletes competing.

High performance paralympian Xu Qing lost his arms in an accident when he was six, but this has not stopped him from embracing new opportunities. He began swimming training at seven after being introduced to the sport by a doctor who had himself been a paralympian.

Always hungry for new challenges, Xu was destined to be a strong swimmer and competed in World Championships at the age of 12. Since then he has competed in four Paralympic Games and went on to become a 10-time gold medal winner.

“I competed in international championships when I was 12. At that time, I didn’t even know what the Olympic Games was. I just trained hard. But it was the first international competition that inspired me to continue to overcome challenges and to become a good swimmer,” said Xu.

China’s athletes have won more than 100 gold medals in this year’s Paralympics. China’s Chef de Mission, Zhang Haidi, spoke highly of the country’s athletes and said China is ready to host the Winter Paralympics in 2022.

“Our athletes shoulder the hopes of our country, and the hopes of our 85 million brothers and sisters with disabilities in China. We are deeply touched by their performance so far. You can clearly feel their passion and fighting spirit,” Zhang said.

“With their efforts, China has done very well in many new areas, including racing and canoeing. I’m really looking forward to the Beijing Winter Paralympics. We have made a comprehensive plan to promote the winter events. And we are now concentrating on forming the various national teams.”

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