2018 Paralympics

2018+Paralympics

Catherine Lysaught, Staff Writer

The 2018 Winter Paralympics began on March 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea, marking the eleventh anniversary of the games. With 567 athletes from 48 countries as well as the Neutral Paralympics team, this marks the largest Winter Paralympics game in history. For the first time, the countries of Georgia, North Korea, and Tajikistan will be participating in the Paralympics, marking the largest participation in the games’ history.

The USA Paralympics team has sent 74 athletes to the PyeongChang games, the largest of any country in the 2018 games (Time.com). Currently, two days into the competition, the USA is winning the medal count with 9 total medals, 3 more than France, who is holding second place.

The Paralympics began on March 9 with the opening ceremony and will end on March 18. The games will be televised and is available for viewing in NBC and NBC.com.

The Winter Paralympics occur every four years, directly following the Winter Olympics, and are open to all athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and cerebral palsy. Athletes are able to participate in six different sports which are later divided into subcategories so that athletes are able to compete against those with similar disabilities.

The sports available to athletes include alpine skiing, the biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, wheelchair curling, and para-snowboarding. All sports are open to both men and women but are classified based off of the athletes’ disability. “The classification systems differ from sport to sport. The systems are designed to open up Paralympic sports to as many athletes as possible, who can participate in fair competitions against athletes with similar levels of ability” (Paralympics.org).