Feature: Beijing 2022 brings new level to global Para sports

YANQING, Beijing, March 10 (Xinhua) -- In the eyes of Netherlands coach Nicky Elsewaerd, the facilities at the Yanqing Paralympic Village and the National Alpine Skiing Center are the best of the last three Winter Paralympic Games.

"The facilities are perfect. Everything is good and acceptable. We have big rooms and big bedrooms. They have special bedrooms for athletes with wheelchairs. It looks like the organizers in China did a good job," said Elsewaerd.

In addition to the venues and the Paralympic Village, the accessible facilities at the ongoing Beijing Winter Paralympics also received praise from Paralympians.

At the National Alpine skiing center, wheelchair athletes can enter the venue either via cable car or transport buses.

Before the Games opened on March 4, organizers added planks roads and non-slip pads to provide disabled athletes with greater convenience.

"The facilities are brilliant, I haven't seen anyone having any problems," said British para Alpine skiing participant Alex Slegg.

Besides the facilities, the pandemic prevention measures also impressed Slegg, who is on his first visit to China.

"Everyone I have met so far has been wonderful, really friendly. It would have been great if we could go out to see more of the country, but we appreciate what's going on, and that the closed loop was necessary. I will just have to come back again," he added.

Huang Chun, deputy director-general of BOCOG's office of pandemic prevention and control, said on Tuesday that all prevention and control measures had achieved good results.

"From the pre-opening of the Paralympic Games Village until March 7, 23 positive cases were found, of which nearly 80 percent were detected by the airport entry customs, accounting for the majority," Huang said.

"As long as we adhere to the effective closed-loop epidemic prevention management, we believe it will be a very safe event. It is completely consistent with what we expected before the Games," Huang added.

Said Japanese para Alpine skier Gakuta Koike, "I have experienced five Paralympic Winter Games, and the Chinese volunteers are the best."

In the view of International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons, "Ahead of these Games, hundreds of thousands of facilities have been made barrier-free. The venues are magnificent. The organization is extraordinary. The COVID-19 prevention and control is safe and efficient."

"As the first city to stage both Summer and Winter Paralympics, Beijing is proof of this."

"The hospitable Chinese people have built the stage to fully showcase the best of Paralympic winter sports," he added.