PHNOM PENH, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially opened at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Saturday evening.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen presided over the opening ceremony of the biennial multi-sport event, which brought together a total of 1,453 para-athletes from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus Timor-Leste.
The two-hour event included parade of para-athletes from 11 countries, para-athlete's and arbitrator's oath, speeches, colorful arts performances, torch relay and cauldron lighting, and fireworks display.
In his opening speech, Hun Sen said Cambodia was proud to host the Games, saying that the event had not only promoted the rights of people with disabilities, but also given them an opportunity to unleash their potential, capacity and talents.
Hun Sen then declared the Games open.
Speaking at the event, Osoth Bhavilai, president of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation, said it was the first time Cambodia has hosted this regional para sporting event.
"This will be a moment long remembered, cherished by not only the people of Cambodia, but also by the whole ASEAN population and para community," he said.
"The ASEAN Para Games provides the opportunity for disabled society to discard inferiority, and work hard to scale greater heights in sports, and life," he added.
With the theme of "Sport: Live in Peace", the regional para games will run until June 9.
The para-athletes will contest in 14 sports, including athletics, badminton, boccia, Chess, 5-a-side football, 7-a-side football, blind basketball, judo, weightlifting, swimming, men's and women's table tennis, men's and women's sitting volleyball, men's and women's wheelchair basketball, and e-sports.
Cambodia bagged seven golds, 10 silvers and 11 bronze medals at the 11th ASEAN Para Games held in Surakarta (Solo), Indonesia last year.