September 9 marks the beginning of the Paralympic powerlifting competitions at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Unlike their Olympic counterparts, the Paralympic lifters are required to press upward the barbell above their chests while lying on their backs on a specially designed bench. The potential danger of the game has everyone present worrying for the athletes, the volunteers in particular. To ensure safety, each competition is under the intensive attention of six volunteers, who are there to add the weights, strap the athletes down on the bench, clean the bar stand and so on. They are literally putting the handicapped powerlifting contenders under their wings.
Weights are gradually added to the barbell as the competition goes on on the platform. When it is announced that more weight is to be put on, the volunteers take care of it in no time. Two of them remove the collars. Two others pick up the blue discs, put them in position, reattach the collars, and give the floor to the next challenger. Everything is done with ease and adeptness. For each competition, the weight taken from and added to the barbell through the hands of the volunteers tops 1,000 kilograms.