Paralympics start in PyeongChang

Paralympics start in PyeongChang

Earlier in the day, Mollie Jepsen of Whistler, B.C. captured bronze in the women's downhill standing event, earning Canada's first medal of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

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

Similarly to the Olympics ceremonies, colour and culture featured heavily throughout, with traditional Korean aspects combining with the new such as K-Pop music and dancing.

Google is celebrating the commencement of the Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang city of South Korea with a special doodle.

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 Winter Paralympic Games have kicked off in PyeongChang.

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The Athletes are racing to capture a spot on the podium in six qualifying sports- alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, para ice hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

The background of the North's athletes suggests their presence is part of Pyongyang's political maneouvring - the pair, both students, only started skiing in December, having previously played disabled table tennis, according to Games organisers.

The USA, who have the biggest team at the Paralympics with 69 athletes, got off to a good start, wining three golds, one silver and a bronze. The Neutral Paralympic Athlete delegation is also participating.

The IPC offered the two nations' paralympic committees a similar arrangement to their Olympic counterparts, but they couldn't see eye-to-eye over the depiction of Korea on the unification flag. 14 Belarusian athletes went to Pyeongchang to perform in two disciplines: ski races and biathlon.

North Korea pulled out of the joint march after South Korea made a decision to remove islands claimed by Japan from the flag, which depicts the Korean peninsula.

The Opening Ceremony begun with an artistic segment entitled Let's Move, which saw Myeongjin Shin, an amputee performer with a prosthetic arm and legs, beat on a giant drum.

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