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DPRK athlete 1st time competes in Paralympics

09-03-2012 22:09 BJT Special Report:2012 Paralympic Games |

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For the first time, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has entered a Paralympian athlete to compete in the London Games.

Swimmer Rim Ju Song, a 16-year-old who actually lives in Beijing, is scheduled to take part in the 50-metre freestyle race on Tuesday. Rim is seen as an inspiration in a country where disabled people are just beginning to get the support they need to pursue their athletic abilities.

Ri Kwang Son, exec. Director, said, "If the physically challenged can take part in international sporting events, it can improve their position in society, and their involvement can give them confidence in themselves. So, that’s why our country decided to send athletes to compete in these Games."

The DPRK had hoped to try to qualify in 3 Paralympic disciplines, table tennis, wheelchair racing, and swimming. However, new to the process, they only met the deadline to enroll Rim, who was granted wild card status after taking part in a competition in Berlin earlier this year.

24-year-old Song Kum Jong lives in Pyongyang and has suffered since birth from spinal problems that leave her unable to use her legs. Confined to a wheelchair, she practices table tennis at a centre run by the Korean Federation for Protection of the Disabled (KFPD). She hopes that, one day, she will get the same opportunity as Rim.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CCTV.com

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