Without too much fanfare in the West, the 2008 Beijing Paralympics has ended almost as fast as the main Olympics events had rushed onto the world stage. It’s hard to imagine that in a little over 1 month – the whole hoopla that is the Beijing Olympics has officially ended
By most accounts, the Paralympics – including the events, the organization, the public support, the coordination, and of course the performances – is as successful, if not more successful, than the main Olympics event. It has created an opportunity to reveal to the world a softer, gentler side of China. The Paralympics may also have started a quiet revolution in China where the rights and potentials of the handicapped and disabled are more respected and appreciated.
Below are a few pictures of the closing ceremony obtained from various sources. Enjoy!
Fireworks at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing to mark the start of the Paralympic closing ceremony. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)
The athletes enter the stadium. (AP/Andy Wong)
Performers form a giant envelope on the stadium floor as part of the ceremony’s theme, “Letter From Beijing.” (Reuters/Jason Lee)
Dancers representing the Yellow River. (AP/Greg Baker)
“Leaves” descend from the roof of the Bird’s Nest. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)
Performers representing postmen descend from the stadium roof. (Reuters/Alfred Cheng Jin)
A blind girl singing during the middle portion of the ceremony. (Reuters/Jason Lee)
(Li Xin/AFP/Getty Images)
Performers enacting a portion of the show in which a young woman reads a love letter. (Reuters/Claro Cortes IV)
The Paralympic flame lights the stadium. (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
The Paralympic mascots cavort on the stadium floor with “postmen” and other performers. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
(Reuters/Claro Cortes IV)
The final fireworks display. (Feng Li/Getty Images)
The Beijing flame extinguished, to be rekindled in London in 2012. (Reuters/Jason Lee)
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