SHANGHAI, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao declared open the 2007 Special Olympic World Summer Games at the opening ceremony here on Tuesday.
A record 7,291 athletes from 164 countries and regions are set to take part in the 21-sport Games slated for Oct. 2-11 in Shanghai, with the eldest aged 69 and the youngest at 8.
Marking the first time the Games have been held in Asia, the Games also welcome 2,302 trainers, more than 20,000 family members of the intellectual disabled athletes, celebrities, VIPs and some 40,000 volunteers from all over the world.
The three-hour-long opening ceremony was visually striking with dazzling lighting, fireworks, costumes and overwhelming music.
The extravagant ceremony, featuring 5,800 performers, started with a drum show called "Harmony: Hearts Beating As One", performed by actors with intellectual disabilities.