'Great honor' - Armenia's flag-bearer on PyeongChang Paralympic Games opening ceremony

The South Korean Government has confirmed its intention to steadily phase out the country’s controversial grade system for disabled people

'Great honor' - Armenia's flag-bearer on PyeongChang Paralympic Games opening ceremony

And during welcoming remarks at a reception before Friday's opening ceremony, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stressed the importance that the Olympics and Paralympics have played in opening the door for the peace process on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea said putting the islands on the flag would violate the International Paralympics Committee's recommendation not to politicize sports events. The games run until March 18.

This year, Paralympic athletes from Russian Federation have to compete under the name "Neutral Paralympic Athletes" (NPA). "Speed, skill, strength, endurance and intelligence; tremendous abilities that will at first surprise you, but ultimately will inspire and excite you".

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The South Korean flag is carried into the stadium. The team, wearing long red coats, waved their flags and hands to the crowd.

Only in the world forum of disabled athletes, which will last from 9 to 18 March, will take part 567 athletes from 49 countries who will compete for 80 sets of medals in six sports - skiing, biathlon, Alpine skiing, sledge hockey, and Curling Svoboda, passes the Censor.With NO link to UNIAN.

Just like February's Olympic Games, the cold weather has been a nagging problem for the Paralympics, and it has already caused cancellations of official training session. At the ceremony, the organizers handed out blankets and raincoats to the audience, but empty seats were noticeable.

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The opening ceremony featured light shows, fireworks as well as traditional South Korean performances and modern dance.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons Thursday said Russian athletes were "as clean as any others" at the Pyeongchang Winter Games as he defended the decision to let them compete as neutrals despite a mass doping scandal.

A record 567 athletes from 48 countries, as well as the neutral Paralympic delegation, are involved in this year's Games.

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