Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang officially begin with colourful opening ceremony


The Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 officially got underway with a cold but colorful Opening Ceremony on Friday at the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang.

After South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared the Games open, the Paralympic torch arrived at the stadium.

"There is still room for growth as nineteen Asian nations competed at the Winter Olympic Games but with the next edition taking place in Beijing, we hope that many more Asian para-athletes will be inspired to take up the exciting and challenging winter sports".

The US team, the biggest at the Winter Paralympics with 69 athletes, was at the head with unexpected victories of the biathlon combining skiing and shooting.

The IPC directed its focus on the achievement of hosting the inaugural North Korean Paralympic team in South Korea despite their history of conflict.

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Now, Page goes for his third Paralympic gold medal in PyeongChang and become one of four players ever to do so.

"From tomorrow, Paralympic athletes will turn their dreams into reality".

Cross-country skier and biathlete Andrea Eskau, who is also a handcyclist, is the only starter in Pyeongchang who has already won gold in both Summer and Winter Paralympics.

Ahn Sun-yong, 48, added: "We were one country before, and we want reunification some day".

Winter Paralympics have been held since 1976.

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Kim Jong Hyon carries the flag of North Korea as he leads his teammates into the opening ceremony.

There was a silver lining to their less than triumphant debut - while they finished last, a Georgian and a Belarusian failed to complete the course at all, meaning they did worse than the North Koreans.

American snowboarder Brenna Huckaby, who lost her right leg below the knee, made headlines when she featured in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

The International Paralympic Committee announced that the neighboring nations would have their own entourages on Thursday - just a day before the opening ceremony.

But the disagreement is considered a minor sticking point after what has been a swift thaw between the neighbours, starting with North Korea's decision in January to participate in the Olympics.

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"We were still negotiating right up until the very last moment".