More National Paralympic Teams to Arrive in Beijing29.08.2008
The countdown for the Paralympic Games in Beijing is officially in the single digits. The competitions are approaching and most athletes have finished their final training. Gathering their competitors together, countries from around the world are now wishing their respective teams well as they fly to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
One of those countries is New Zealand sending a 30-member team to Beijing earlier this week. The team is headed by Athens gold medallists Tim Prendergast and Matt Slade in Athletics, and Michael Johnson in Shooting. Prendergast has also been appointed as team captain for the New Zealand Paralympic Team, and this will be his third Paralympic showing. The New Zealand Team’s Chef de Mission, Duane Kale, praised the choice of Prendergast as captain. She said it was great to have an athlete of his calibre competing and being a role model for other athletes as well.
The country of Ireland has seen its Paralympic Team of 45 athletes, coaches and support staff arrive successfully in the Chinese capital. The Irish Team comprises of 10 athletes competing in Athletics, four in Cycling, one in Archery, four in Boccia, a team of 12 in Football 7-a-Side, six in Swimming, five in Sailing, two in Table Tennis and one in Equestrian. The Chef de Mission to the Irish Team, Jimmy Byrne, said that the team began this journey four years ago and now proudly sees itself at the entryway to the Beijing Paralympic Games. Byrne also praised the incredible support from the Irish Sports Council, family, friends and their team of sponsors.
The 32 athletes from the Cuban Paralympic Team have already set their sights on medals in competition after getting comfortable in Beijing. Cuban athletes will be competing in five sports, with bigger opportunities expressed from the team in Athletics and Judo.
Other National Teams already in Beijing include the Mexican Paralympic Team and the Moroccan Paralympic Team.. The list of delegations in Beijing will continue increase daily as the day of the Opening Ceremony, 6 September, approaches.