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17 Sep 2004
Olympic News

Paralympic Games open today

Tonight, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, will declare the Paralympic Games open. The opening will be celebrated in a ceremony featuring Greece’s Vicky Leandros and Marios Frangoulis in a choreography developed by Apostolia Papadamakis. The ceremony will open 11 days of competition between 17 and 28 September 2004. IOC President Jacques Rogge will attend the Opening Ceremony.

Paralympic Games open today
4,000 athletes, representing 142 countries will participate in the ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Games. In order to cover the needs for the organisation of the Paralympic Games, 35,000 people are employed, with 15,000 of them being volunteers.

19 sports – four”unique” ones
The Paralympic Games competition schedule includes 19 sports. Fifteen of them are shared with the Olympic Games, while the other four are exclusively Paralympic. The four “unique” sports that are played at the Paralympic Games are: boccia, goalball, powerlifting and wheelchair rugby.

Most of the Olympic venues used
The Paralympic Games will be mostly staged in the same venues as the very successful Olympic Games. The Olympic Stadium will host athletics. Cycling, basketball, swimming and cycling will also be organised in the different venues of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA), already used for the Olympic Games. Other venues used are the equestrian and shooting stadiums in Markopoulo, and the Hellinikonm Olympic Complex for wheelchair volleyball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, football and archery. Boccia and judo will be staged in the Ano Liossa Olympic Hall and goalball in the Olympic Sports Pavillion in Faliro.

3,000 press officials
During the Paralympic Games, Athens will offer hospitality to 3,000 press officials, 1,000 technical officials and judges, 2,000 team escorts and 2,500 official guests.

Learn more on the IPC
Official website of the IPC
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