TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2020 National Disabled Games opened in the eastern county of Taitung on Friday (Nov. 27).
The biennial sporting event, postponed from May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, welcomed over 3,500 disabled athletes from 21 cities to the Taitung County Stadium on Friday evening. Vice Premier Shen Rong-jin (沈榮津), Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠), and Taitung County Magistrate Yao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴) were among the guests in attendance at the opening ceremony.
During his speech, Shen praised Taitung County Government for putting together the Games and wished all the contestants good luck. He described the disabled athletes as "the heroes in our hearts" and said their perseverance is very inspiring.
Meanwhile, students from Wuling Elementary School and Zhiben Junior High School provided indigenous music and dance at the opening celebration. The Mixed Disabled Arts Group (混障綜藝團), Dream Catchers (夢想者聯盟), and the Special School Affiliated with National Taitung University also put on mesmerizing performances, according to Youth Daily News.
Taitung table tennis player Chen Fu-kuei (陳富貴), who represented Taiwan in the 2018 Asian Para Games, and bocce player Yang Pei-ling (楊培鈴) had the honor to light the flame for this year's National Disabled Games. They were accompanied by Taiwanese weightlifter and Olympian bronze medalist Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳), who made a surprise entrance, reported CNA.
The Games feature 15 sports, including track, swimming, badminton, table tennis, wheelchair tennis, powerlifting, shooting, basketball, archery, boccia, bocce, roller skating, bowling, para-badminton, and para-bowling. The Games continue until Monday (Nov. 30) at 13 venues.
Table tennis player Chen Fu-kuei raises the flame, in the company of Kuo Hsing-chun. (CNA photo)
Vice Premier Shen Rong-jin speaks at the opening ceremony of the 2020 National Disabled Games. (CNA photo)