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Winter Paralympics closing after Ukrainian and Chinese athlete stars

Beijing: At the Beijing Winter Paralympics on Sunday (March 13th), the flames will go out after a week of spectacular performances by Ukrainian athletes arose from the host country and the invasion of Moscow.

The Bird’s Nest Stadium will host the closing ceremony, and China will pass the baton to Milan Cortina, Italy. Milan Cortina will stage the 2026 Winter Olympics.

At the opening ceremony, China’s state broadcaster CCTV censored a powerful anti-war speech by President Andrew Parsons of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

After more than a week, CCTV has not answered the IPC questions and does not guarantee that it will not behave similarly at the closing ceremony.

Preparations for the tournament were overshadowed by a debate over whether athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus should be allowed to compete.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has urged sports federations around the world to exclude athletes from these countries.

The IPC initially stated that athletes would be able to compete in neutral, but after the threat of boycotts from other athletes and heightened tensions in the Olympic Village, the organizers banned athletes from the competition.

After a difficult journey from the war-torn hometown to the Chinese capital, Ukrainian athletes finished second in the medal table after performing best at the Winter Paralympics.

“Incredible display”

A few days after discovering that Kharkov’s home was bombed, one athlete learned that the soldier’s father had been taken prisoner by Russian troops, and another athlete won the gold medal.

The team had 28 podiums by Sunday morning. This includes 10 gold medals in biathlon and cross-country skiing.

“It’s great to compete at a very high level here, knowing that families and countries are under attack,” Parsons told reporters on Saturday.

“This is one of the greatest resilience signs I’ve ever seen in my life, both inside and outside the sport.”

The host country, China, has emerged as a new winter Paralympic powerhouse. We won a total of 18 gold medals and 59 medals ahead of Ukraine.

China made its debut in 2002, but only four years ago it recorded its first gold medal in wheelchair curling in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The scale of success in Beijing surprised some players.

“Because there aren’t many overseas games these days, I wasn’t really aware of my level before these Paralympics,” said Liu Siton, who won two bronze medals and one silver medal in the women’s alpine ski race. (27) said.

On the final day of the tournament on Sunday, the United States will face Canada with para-ice hockey gold after China beat South Korea 4-0 on Saturday to win the bronze medal.

“We believe that we encourage everyone with disabilities to live positively every day, and we believe that everyone has value and can contribute in all areas,” said Chinese player Cui Yutao.

“We formed a team in 2016 and have basically been training in a closed room since then. I didn’t go home for about three years because I was chasing this dream,” said teammate Wanjidon. rice field.

There are medals for the final day that can be won at ski cross-country relays and alpine events.

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