August 29, 2014 11:37
The 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games, the biggest sports festival for athletes with physical disabilities in the region, will open on Oct. 18, two weeks after the Asian Games.
Korea will host the Asian Para Games for the first time in 12 years. It will be the largest such event in history with 6,000 athletes and officials from 41 countries. Only Bangladesh will not take part.
Korea is fielding 333 athletes and 131 team officials for all of the 23 events. The country has set a target to finish second in the overall medals with about 75 gold medals in disciplines such as shooting, archery, table tennis, and boccia, where it has traditionally fared well.
Korea finished second with 63 gold medals in the 2002 Asian Para Games in Busan, and came third in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 (58 golds) and Guangzhou in 2010 (27 golds).
The organizing committee has built all sports venues, transportation means, and emergency first-aid systems to meet the convenience of athletes and team officials with physical disabilities. It has also secured some 700 special vehicles, such as specially designed buses for the wheelchair-bound.
Kolleen Park will choreograph the opening ceremony at the Munhak Stadium on Oct. 18 under the theme "Impossible Drives Us."
Organizing committee chairman Kim Sung-il said, "The Incheon Asian Para Games will allow you to see athletes display their abilities instead of their disabilities."
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