Largest Winter Paralympics to kick off in PyeongChang Friday

Largest Winter Paralympics to kick off in PyeongChang Friday

Unlike at the recent Winter Olympics, South Korea and North Korea marched separately at Friday's ceremony, after failing to resolve their differences concerning the precise nature of the proposed Korean unification flag.

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.

At the last winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Poles failed to come away with any medals.

A record 567 athletes from 48 countries, plus the Neutral Paralympic Athlete delegation, will compete at the Games.

The opening ceremony took place on Friday at the city's Olympic stadium.

South Korea is sending its largest Winter Paralympics delegation with 36 athletes and 47 officials. Medals are up for grabs in six disciplines: Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, hockey, and wheelchair curling.

Luckily the Winter Paralympics is about the start, so you can get your fix of shouting at the telly for Team GB.

Paralympic events begin on Saturday.

The 2018 Games are the largest Winter Paralympics that has ever been hosted, according to the Pyeongchang Paralympic Committee.

Russian Federation remains banned from the Paralympics following a decision in 2016 that barred the country from competing in the Rio Summer Paralympics because of a state-run doping system.

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18 members of the team have won a Paralympic medal.

After hosting a successful Winter Olympic Games last month, the South Korean alpine town of PyeongChang is set to deliver another inspiring sporting festivity, this time featuring athletes with disabilities.

Mike Schultz, who wrapped up season titles last month in snowboard cross and banked slalom, is the US flag bearer for the opening ceremony.

Three athletes have also competed in summer sports at the Paralympic Games: Brad Bowden, Cindy Ouellet and Liam Hickey (all in wheelchair basketball).

The South's Korean Paralympic Committee (KPC) said Thursday that the two sides made the decision after discussions.

Earlier this week, the Blue House said North Korea is willing to talk about getting rid of its nuclear weapons if its own safety can be guaranteed.

As well as North Korea, Georgia and Tajikistan are taking part for the first time in the nine-day Games. A total of 800 torchbearers participated in groups of two to complete the 2,018 km distance.

The first event was held in Sweden.

Athletes from each country will enter the venue in order of the Korean alphabet, ahead of a speech by South Korean president Moon Jae-In.

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