On September 7, the first games day of the Beijing Paralympics, there were altogether 17 competitions being held at 11 venues. In spite of the heavy rain in the early morning, the spectators were undeterred. Many of them watched the competitions on the spot. According to statistics, the occupancy rate of all the venues exceeded 90% and some of them were packed. Over 10,000 game-time volunteers provided heartwarming and professional services for the spectators.
The first swimming competition started at nine in the morning. According to Huang Xiaoxia, spectator service manager of the National Swimming Center, more than 10,000 turned out for the first morning batch of competitions. On duty were some 180 spectator service volunteers, who were in charge of check-ins, seating, ushering and the checkrooms. “Before the opening day, we had the volunteers through drills on how to help the disabled and ensure smooth progress of competitions,” Huang told this reporter. “We borrowed wheelchairs from venues where no paralympic games were arranged. In that way we were able to provide the disabled with non-barrier access to all the competitions to be held here.”