The largest ever Winter Paralympic games were officially opened today
There were 48 different nations entering the Olympic stadium in Pyeongchang, South Korea, at a temperature of around -5C. A record of 567 athletes will be taking part in the games across the full 9 days of the competition.
At Cyclone, we had the opening ceremony playing in our offices today. We watched as Snowboarder Owen Pick led our British team into the arena as the flagbearer. ParalympicsGB has sent a team of 17 strong athletes to hopefully win us some medals.
We even spotted the flagbearer of Mexico, Monoskier Arly Velasquez, using his Batec Rapid:
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Fireworks and K-Pop galore
After the athlete parade, the ceremony began. The stadium lit up with flashed of colour and featured a young Korean girl directing CGI fish as they swam around on the arena floor, children on sledges and inflatable boats, giant dancing snowmen and a snowboarding mascot.
A large wooden wheel was also lifted into the wheel with a DJ on playing K-Pop (the modern genre of pop music famous in Korea).
International Paralympic Committe president, Andrew Parsons, opened the Ceremony with a greeting in Korean. He also mentioned how the Paralympics began seventy years ago in Stoke Mandeville,
“Without a dream, there is little hope. Seventy years ago this year, Sir Ludwig Guttmann gave hope to millions with his vision of creating opportunities for people with an impairment through sport. Today his dream is stronger than ever. Paralympic sport not only changes lives but also changes the world.”
Guttmann, a Jewish neurosurgeon who fled to Great Britain from Nazi Germany, used sport as part of his work rehabilitating injured World War II veterans; he organised the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948, which served as a precursor to the Paralympics.
The games start at 00:30GMT on Saturday, begining with the men’s and women’s downhill skiing, with both Brett Wild and Millie Knight competing for GB. Coverage will be on Channel 4.
Come on team GB!