The Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Summer Games Is Held in Shanghai Hu Jintao Declares Open the Special Olympics at the Opening Ceremony


Bright lights shine along the Huangpu River. The dazzling Oriental Pearl rises grandiosely. The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games was staged at Shanghai Stadium in Shanghai on the evening of Oct. 2, 2007. Chinese President Hu Jintao declared open the Games at the opening ceremony here.

Chinese President Hu Jintao declared open the 2007 Special Olympic World Summer Games

The sound of rejoicing from a capacity crowd of 80,000 filled the Shanghai Stadium which was decorated with colorful lights and overwhelmed with thunderous music.


At about 19:00, amid merry music and warm applauses Hu stepped on the podium and waved hands to the audience.


Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Deputy Prime-Minister of Uzbekistan INAMOVA Svetlana Tursunovna, Special Olympics International Chairman Timothy Shriver and Honorary Chairperson Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Vice Chinese Premier Hui Liangyu, State Councilor Chen Zhili and the Chief Executive of Macao Special Administrative Region Edmund Ho Hau-wah attended the event.


The opening ceremony started with sonorous and forceful drum beats. The delegations of 164 countries and regions paraded amid enthusiastic applauses from the audiences, while the Chinese delegation which was the last in the parade received thunderous applauses and cheers.


The five-star red flag rose slowly amid the majestic national anthem of the People's Republic of China.


At 21:20 Hu Jintao declared open the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. All the audiences cheered and applauded. Hundreds of children ran into the stage carrying colorful balloons and fireworks exploded in the sky.

The 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games opened in Shanghai Stadium


8 Special Olympics athletes entered the stadium escorting the Special Olympics flag, and the honorary guards flew the flag slowly. 1 athlete and 1 referee, on behalf of all the athletes and referees attending the Games, swore in front of the flag.


Han Zheng, chairman of the organizing committee of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games and mayor of Shanghai, addressed the opening ceremony, extending warm welcome to all the athletes as well as guests from home and abroad. He said that the Games would serve as a stage to increase the mutual understanding and friendship among people all over the world and each participant would spread the spirit of the Special Olympics. He appealed to all to build a warm family of the Special Olympics and open a new chapter of human civilization.


Timothy Shriver also delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, expressing sincere gratitude to the Chinese people for their careful preparations for the Special Olympics. He noted that the Special Olympics is not held for others but for ourselves and called on more people to join the undertaking of the Special Olympics.


At 21:42 "Flame of Hope" of the Special Olympics which had traveled across the five continents arrived at Shanghai Stadium and several Chinese and foreign torch bearers passed on the flame within the stadium. A Chinese torch bearer held high the holy flame and lit the "Moebius Ring" as a symbol of the spirit of Special Olympics. The burning huge "Moebius Ring" rose slowly against waterfall. The Shanghai Stadium was overwhelmed with cheers and happiness.


The main torch of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games lit at the opening ceremony


A grand gala performance with the theme of "Harmony: the Dream of Mankind" was staged during the opening ceremony. With four chapters of "courage: power of human spirit", "sharing: care by all", "skill: learn our potential" and "joy: a moment of celebration", the performance demonstrated the spirit of persons with intellectual disabilities and the lofty aspiration of mankind of caring each other and progressing together. It deeply moved the audiences and presented an emotional scene of love. The words "love returns to the earth; we join together; time will remember me; I was once brave and will never give up" sang by a kid with intellectual disability aroused resonance of the audiences. The chorus I Know I Can pushed the entire performance to a peak.


The Special Olympics is a comprehensive sport event for people with intellectual disabilities. The Shanghai Special Olympics marks the first time that the Summer Special Olympics is held in a developing country in Asia. It is the international sport event with the largest number of participating countries and regions and athletes held by China. The Games hold 21 official events and four performance events and will be attended by more than 10,000 athletes and referees. It will end on October 11, 2007.



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