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China Preparing Well for Special Olympics

Shanghai is ready to host a successful Special Olympics World Summer Games, scheduled to open on Oct. 2, said Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Tuesday.

The officials and workers of the organizing committee and departments involved were gearing up for the opening of the games, said Hui, also honorary president of the organizing committee.

"We will have every facility and procedure checked and rechecked in next few days to close as many loopholes as possible and make sure everything is ready for the games," he said.

The Special Olympics World Summer Games is an international sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

This year, more than 10,000 athletes and coaches as well as 20,000 guests from about 170 countries and regions will be present in China's economic hub.

The Chinese delegation will compromise 1,716 people, 1,276 of whom are athletes.

The first foreign delegations arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday.

China would make more efforts to protect the rights and interests of the intellectually disabled, such as improving sport facilities, vocational training, employment, health and education services, Hui said.

China has 13 million people with intellectual disabilities and among them 500,000 are engaged in athletics.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)

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