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Winter Paralympics begin with spectacular opening ceremony

13 March, 2018, 14:49 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Winter Paralympics begin with spectacular opening ceremony

Athletes from 48 nations paraded into the stadium on Friday, braving the freezing -5C conditions.

Organisers said the athletes only started skiing in three months ago and had previously played a version of table tennis for disabled competitors.

Six years after winning silver at the London Paralympics, as a 200m sprinter, Patmore claimed gold in the men's snowboard cross, defeating Italian Manuel Pozzerle in the final.

The Paralympics in South Korea opened Friday with a glittering ceremony that mixed spectacular light shows and fireworks with traditional Korean performances and modern pop music.

There was hardly any reaction when the Russian athletes entered the arena. The disagreement comes over the exclusion of South Korean-controlled and Japanese-contested disputed islands, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese.

At one point a young girl directed illuminated fish that were swimming in the arena floor. Moon was invited to do the official declaration by IPC President Andrew Parsons, who followed Pyeongchang 2018 counterpart Lee Hee-beom in delivering a speech.

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The $106m, 35,000-seater stadium, which will be pulled down after the closing ceremony, looked two thirds full during the ceremony. Broadcasts of the Games, which run March 9 to 18, will be available daily on CBC and Radio-Canada with live streams hosted on the CBC Sports app, as well as CBC.ca/sports/paralympics and Radio-Canada.ca/Jeuxparalympiques.

Meanwhile, North and South Korea's decision not to march together at Friday night's opening ceremony will have no bearing on efforts to support North Korean athletes, the International Olympic Committee has said.

The competitions for athletes with disabilities became more popular following World War II, offering veterans who had been injured during wartime a chance to compete.

As well as North Korea, Georgia and Tajikistan are taking part for the first time in the nine-day Games.

The rapid inter-Korean thaw has eased tensions that soared previous year when Pyongyang tested missiles that could reach the USA mainland and detonated what it said was an H-bomb.

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