Slovakian skier wins first gold as Paralympics get under way

6 Mar 2018- 15:01:00

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.

Mike Schultz leads U.S.delegation during the opening ceremony for the XII Paralympic Winter Games in the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, March 9, 2018.

Yesterday the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang took place. At the "Parade of Nations" flag-bearer of the Ukrainian team was the repeated champion and medalist of the Paralympic games in ski racing and biathlon Vitaly Lukyanenko. There are a record 80 gold medals up for grab, South Korean News Agency (Yonhap) reported.

South Korea is hosting the Games for the first time. The separation follows a dispute about some tiny islands on their unified flag.

"Although we are disappointed, we respect the decision of the two [National Paralympic Committees] who decided that marching separately would be better for both parties", said Andrew Parsons, the IPC president.

The original Paralympic competitions started more than 100 years ago, according to Paralympic.org, with the first sport clubs for deaf athletes in Berlin dating back to 1888.

United Kingdom : 2 in hospital after suspicious package at MP office
Yesterday two people were taken to hospital after a suspicious package was sent to the office of Labour MP Mohammad Yasin. Two were sent to Portcullis House and Norman Shaw Buildings on Monday, both of which were later deemed non-harmful.

The wheelchair-bound skiers appeared at the same temporary stadium in Pyeongchang, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the heavily fortified inter-Korean border, where Kim Jong-un's sister attended the opening of last month's Winter Olympics. They will compete as individuals because Russian Federation is banned from the Games, due to a doping scandal.

Some of the adapted sports have become hits with spectators, such as fast and furious para ice hockey where competitors slide around on double-bladed sledges.

Three nations - North Korea, Georgia and Tajikistan - made their debuts at the Winter Games.

"We were still negotiating right up until the very last moment". Cnossen is a former Navy Seal who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan.

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.

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