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Beijing Paralympics Emblem unveiled (photo attached)

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   July 13, 2004, Beijing

   The emblem for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games is unveiled in a grand ceremony at the China Millennium Monument today.

   "Today three years ago was a day that the Chinese nation is most proud of when we were awarded the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympics. This evening, we are here to celebrate once again and launch the 2008 Paralympic emblem," said Deng Pufang, President of the China Disabled Person' Federation (CDPF) and also a BOCOG executive president.

   "The launch of the 2008 Beijing Paralympic emblem will surely further encourage China's disabled athletes to continue winning glory for our country with relentless effort and perseverance in the international Paralympic competition fields," said Deng.

   The unveiling was witnessed by Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, BOCOG President Liu Qi, BOCOG Executive PresidentWang Qishan and IPC Vice-President François Terranova, together with an audience of about a thousand cheerful Beijing residents.

   The Emblem for the 2008 Paralympic Games is in a figure of an athlete in motion, implying the tremendous efforts a handicapped person has to make in sports as well as in real life.

   Dubbed "Sky, Earth and Human Being," the emblem is typically Chinese because of its form and style, particularly of its philosophy.

   The three colours in the emblem represent the sun (red), the sky (blue) and the earth (green) and reflect the integration of heart, body and spirit in human being ?C the core of the philosophy of Chinese culture and that of the Paralympic Games. The emblem also reflects the common spirit shared by both the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games, embodying the concept of "People's Games" of the 2008 Olympics.

   A hint of Chinese calligraphy can be perceived in the shape of the athlete, which is the Chinese character "zhi." "Zhi," most frequently used in ancient written Chinese language, means birth, life, as well as arrival and achievement. Interestingly, the shape of the Chinese character itself is made of twists and turns which implies the process of achieving goals and the life of human being. Both the emblem for the Paralympics and the emblem for the Olympics integrate traditional Chinese art elements and modern design concepts and carry the same message of friendship, joy and harmony.

   The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) approved the design of the emblem at its Management Committee meeting held in Bonn, Germany on June 25, 2004.

   The design was well-received in the IPC. When BOCOG delegation finished its presentation, members of the IPC Management Committee unanimously approved the emblem by acclamation. IPC President Phil Craven wrote his comments on a sample copy of the emblem: "An athlete whose spirit is truly in motion," implying that the design is in full conformity with the Paralympic motto of "Spirit in Motion."

   The solicitation process began in March 2004, when five top design institutions, including art academies, design firms as well as a design studio, were invited to participate in the competition after they passed a preliminary screening. The China Disabled Persons' Federation was entrusted to invite designers among disabled people to participate.

   Upon the initiation of the competition, the participants were given a briefing to outline specific messaging and functional criteria that the design was expected to achieve. The idea was crystal clear: the emblem would has to convey a message of peace and harmony. It has to be warm and inviting as well as progressive and dynamic. While reflecting Chinese heritage, it has to be globally understood, and preferably, globally accepted. Above all, the design has to embody the concepts of Beijing 2008 Games and to spread to the world the significance that a Paralympic Games is bestowed upon.

   By the end of April, 81 effective entries were received, among which 13 pieces were from handicapped designers. On May 1, a panel consisting of both international and Chinese judges evaluated all the pieces of work and spoke out their minds.

   BOCOG's Executive Board, attaching great importance to the emblem and to the Paralympics itself, met on two different occasions to review the proposed designs and made their suggestions regarding the possible revision of some designs. Public opinions were also taken into consideration when representatives from all walks of life were given a chance to comments on the proposed works.

   The judging panel met again in early June to further review the short-listed pieces. To refine these works, BOCOG then invited some outstanding artists to revise them. The whole process was carried out in accordance with pre-set legal procedure and in line with the principles of "openness, fair and transparency."

   Finally, on June 21, the State Council, China's cabinet, gave its approval to the final emblem design before it was presented to the IPC. It was unveiled on July 13 to mark a symbolic yet significant step on BOCOG's road to the 2008 Paralympic Games.

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