Design | Meaning


The emblem is typically Chinese because of its form and style, particularly of its philosophy.

Dubbed "Sky, Earth and Human Beings," the emblem of the Beijing Paralympics is a stylized figure of an athlete in motion, implying the tremendous efforts a disabled person has to make in sports as well as in real life. With the unity and the harmony of "sky, earth and human beings," the emblem incorporates Chinese characters, calligraphy and the Paralympic spirit. It embodies the Paralympic motto of "Spirit in Motion" and reflects the integration of heart, body and spirit in human beings - the core of the philosophy of Chinese culture. The three colors in the emblem represent the sun (red), the sky (blue) and the earth (green).

The emblem also reflects the common spirit shared by both the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games, embodying the concept of "People's Games" of the 2008 Olympics.

The character zhī, main inspiration for the Paralympic emblem.


A hint of Chinese calligraphy can be perceived in the shape of the athlete, which is the Chinese character "zhī". "Zhī", most frequently used in ancient written Chinese language, means birth, life, as well as arrival and achievement. Interestingly, the shape of the Chinese character itself is made of twists and turns which implies the process of achieving goals and the life of human being. Both the emblem for the Paralympics and the emblem for the Olympics integrate traditional Chinese art elements and modern design concepts and carry the same message of friendship, joy and harmony.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) approved the design of the emblem at its Management Committee meeting held in Bonn, Germany on June 25, 2004.

The design was well- received in the IPC. When BOCOG delegation finished its presentation, members of the IPC Management Committee unanimously approved the emblem by acclamation. IPC President Phil Craven wrote his comments on a sample copy of the emblem: "An athlete whose spirit is truly in motion," implying that the design is in full conformity with the Paralympic motto of "Spirit in Motion."

The solicitation process began in March 2004, when five top design institutions, including art academies, design firms as well as a design studio, were invited to participate in the competition after they passed a preliminary screening. The China Disabled Persons' Federation was entrusted to invite designers among disabled people to participate.