Sports

Paralympics 2018: Google Doodle showcases the conviction of differently abled athletes

Paralympics 2018: Google Doodle showcases the conviction of differently abled athletes

North Korea's athletes took centre stage as the biggest Winter Paralympics 2018 in history opened in South Korea on Friday with a glittering ceremony after a rapid round of diplomacy hit dizzying heights.

Despite the historic announcement Thursday that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to meet and discuss nuclear weapons, not everything is always rosy in North Korea's new d├ętente with the outside world.

In the biathlon - which combines skiing and shooting - the Americans took gold and silver in the women's sit ski, with Kendall Gretsch coming first and Oksana Masters second.

Unlike at the recent Winter Olympics, South Korea and North Korea marched separately, after failing to resolve differences about the nature of the proposed Korean unification flag. Ma Yu-chol and Kim Jong-hyon, the first two North Koreans to compete in the Winter Paralympics, were the bottom two finishers as they ended 26th and 27th, respectively.

The 36-year-old from St. Cloud, Minn., will make his Paralympic debut after learning to snowboard in 2011.

The Paralympics, which follows last month's Winter Olympic Games, will be held in PyeongChang and neighboring cities Gangneung and Jeongseon through March 18.

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Parsons has defended the decision to allow Russians to take part-they were banned entirely at the Rio 2016 Paralympics-insisting those competing are "as clean as any others" at the Games.

Two athletes from North Korea are competing in the Games. He got into sports by playing wheelchair basketball in 2009 and also played para ice hockey in the past.

North Korea had wanted to use a version of the Korean peninsula flag that includes islands disputed with Japan.

The first events begin on Saturday, with athletes competing in downhill skiing and biathlon.

The North Korean delegation, however, received one of the largest cheers from the crowd - some spectators carried the blue unified Korean flag used at the Olympics' opening ceremony. In a way, it also celebrates the courage and conviction of the differently-abled athletes to keep their flame of athletics going on.


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