Koreas Will Not March Together at Opening of Winter Paralympics

Violet Powell
March 9, 2018

Coverage: Follow on Radio 5 live and via the BBC Sport website.

During the 2018 Winter Olympics, a massive North Korean flag that spanned three floors vertically was hung outdoors; compared to the previous spectacle, the flag displayed this time was relatively miniscule. The total includes 30 Russian athletes who will be registered as Neutral Paralympic Athletes.

He will be the first Kiwi in action, when he competes alongside team-mate Adam Hall in the Downhill event on Saturday.

The KPC will later release a statement to explain why the two sides decided not to march together at the opening ceremony.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons said the body was "disappointed" but did not give a reason for the decision.

South Korean envoys are expected to visit Washington later this week to brief USA officials on their talks in North Korea.

Russian Federation will not field a team at the games after being banned for state-sanctioned doping, but 30 athletes who have cleared tests will be allowed to compete as "neutrals". Owen Pick will be one of Team GB's first Paralympic snowboarders.

Bach praised the inter-Korean dialogue that took place through the Olympics, saying, "I would like to congratulate the two governments for using this Olympic momentum to drive talks forward on a political level".

This file photo taken February 9, 2018, shows South and North Korean athletes marching together behind the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province.

In dispute are South Korea-controlled islands in the Sea of Japan that are also claimed by Japan.

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What are GB's medal targets?

The unified Korean banner that features a blue map of the Korean Peninsula on a white background. She lost her leg when she had cancer as a child and hopes the publicity will raise awareness of the Paralympics and encourage more people to participate.

She will be joined in the visually impaired classification by teenagers Menna Fitzpatrick (guided by Jennifer Kehoe) and Millie Knight (guided by Brett Wild).

Japan will sit out wheelchair curling after failing to qualify.

The line-up of Neilson, Gregor Ewan, Hugh Nibloe, Bob McPherson and Angie Malone won bronze at the 2017 World Championships at the same venue in which they will start their Paralympic Games campaign against world champions Norway on Saturday.

A record 650 athletes from 49 countries are taking part, up from about 570 at the last Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

South Korea's organising committee plans to maximise this opportunity to increase exchanges with North Korea. Your support for the movement and our athletes allows them to enter the Games confident, and determined to make this journey a success.

Will the weather affect the Games?

Also on hand were McKeever's two guides Nishikawa and Russell Kennedy, who competed for Canada at the Olympics last month, and is new to Paralympic sport.

However, snowfall since the end of the Olympics and further snowfall on Thursday could cause problems. "We have more broadcasters than ever before set to cover the Winter Paralympics which shows the growing global interest in para sport".

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