March 17, 2018

North Korea in focus as biggest Paralympics opens

10 March 2018, 12:42 | Erma Lawrence

Google Doodle: the Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang

Paralympics 2018: Russian team banned from Pyeongchang Games but 30 to compete under NPA banner

Paralympics GB star Kelly Gallagher is in Pyeongchang for her third Winter Games and has a simple message for the British public: Don't tell me we're not a winter sports nation.

The Google doodle March 9, 2018, celebrated the start of the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The organizing committee says up to 670 athletes from 49 countries will compete in six sports. Poles will be competing in the first four disciplines.

In the Parade of Nations, the delegations from North and South Korea entered under separate flags, unlike the unprecedented unified march at the Olympic curtain-raiser last month.

Moon watched his country's delegation march separately from North Korea's following a dispute yesterday over the unification flag to be carried.

For the first time at a Winter Paralympics, two North Koreans will take part, both in cross-country skiing.

Following protests by the Japanese government, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s recommended that the islands not be included for fear of "politicising" the games.

'South Korea and North Korea agreed to hold a summit in late April and the president of the United States, Trump, promised today to meet with North Korean President Kim Jong-un in May, ' Moon said.

There was no notable reaction for the North Korean entrance from the crowd, who were polite but subdued for most of the evening.

Para snowboarder Mike Schultz led out Team USA - the largest of any NPC at the Games - having recovered from a life altering snowmobile crash in 2008, engineering prosthetics for himself and fellow competitors along the way. That's less than half of the 69 Paralympians who competed in Sochi.

The athletes are extraordinary, the competition fierce-as anyone who has ever witnessed the Paralympics will attest.

"The Winter Games are so special because they're the only place you're going to see people throwing themselves off mountains, sliding down tracks and generally doing mad things".

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