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Opening Paralympic Games - 9/6/2008
Today the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing starts. The Games will kick off with another spectacular ceremony in the National Stadium – the Bird’s Nest - in Beijing. Over 13 days, 4,000 athletes from 148 countries will compete in 20 sports. The Paralympics will be staged in the same iconic venues as the Olympic Games in August, including the sailing competitions in Qingdao and the equestrian competitions in Hong Kong.
Burundi, Gabon, Georgia, Haiti and Timor-Leste will participate for the first time in the Paralympic
Games; Serbia and Montenegro will participate for the first time as two delegations. The Chinese delegation, with 332 athletes and 215 officials, is the country's largest at the Paralympics. Rowing is on the sports programme for the first time.

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