In Pyeongchang hosted the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in 2018

Owen Pick

The Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 officially got underway with a cold but colorful Opening Ceremony on Friday at the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang.

Japan had complained to South Korea about fans waving the flag at a women's ice hockey game last month between the combined North and South Korean team and Sweden. The USA has the biggest team at the Winter Paralympics with 69 athletes.

France and the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) tied for second place with two gold and one silver medals apiece, reports Xinhua news agency.

It was the Slovakian's sixth Paralympic gold in vision impaired skiing.

Patmore becomes Australia's first Winter Paralympic gold medallist since Michael Milton won four and fellow alpine skier Bart Bunting and his sighted guide Nathan Chivers claimed two medals at Salt Lake City in 2002.

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. North Korea said that it wanted the flag to show Dokdo, the island grouping at the centre of a diplomatic dispute between South Korea and Japan, while South Korea apparently wanted to have the unification flag without it so as not to politicise the event.

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Today's Google doodle marks the start of the 2018 Paralympics that begin in PyeongChang today and will continue over the next 10 days.

Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC, said in a statement that North Korea's presence was a pivotal moment for the Paralympic movement and that he hoped that "the focus can now be on the performances of Para athletes on the field of play, not the politics off it". She shared the podium with Russians Katerina Rumyantseva and Anna Milenin, who are performing as neutral paralympic athletes after Russia was barred from flying its flag at the Winter Games for systematic, state-organize drugs cheating. South Korea is hosting the Games for the first time.

21-year-old alpine skier Momoka Muraoka led the Japanese delegation at the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony for the ...

American snowboarder Brenna Huckaby, who lost her right leg below the knee, made headlines when she featured in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. However, unlike at the Olympics, North and South Korea will not march together at the opening ceremony.

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