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In his blog for the Seattle Times Daniel Beekman raises the extremely valid point that in all of the hype about the Olympic Games this summer, the Paralympic Games have been almost completely overlooked. It’s difficult to remember any news stories relating to them; have any paralympians withdrawn for health reasons or joined in Team Darfur? Did Steven Spielberg’s original contract include ceremonies for the Paralympics?

Paralympic LogoParalympic Mascot

Hands up, this dereliction is true of the Beijing Olympics Blog too, until now.

Beekman interestingly points out that:

“People with disabilities in China often struggle to overcome prejudice and discrimination. In Chinese, as in English, the language of disability is revealing. The most common word for ‘disability’ in Mandarin is canji, meaning deficient or deformed.”

The Beijing Paralympics will be the largest ever, and their importance to the disabled population of the host country may never have been greater.

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