Winter Paralympics kick off in Pyeongchang

6 Mar 2018- 15:01:00

6 Mar 2018- 15:01:00

For Vitaliy Lukyanenko, this is the sixth Paralympic Games and the fifth "gold".

It is quite a turnaround from a year ago, when Pyongyang tested missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland and detonated what it said was an H-bomb, sparking fury from Trump who threatened to "completely destroy" the North.

The opening ceremony featured light shows, fireworks as well as traditional South Korean performances and modern dance.

Later Saturday, Mac Marcoux and guide Jack Leitch won Canada's first gold medal of the Games, finishing first in the downhill for visually impaired event.

North Korea is represented by two cross-country skiers at their first winter Paralympics.

The Paralympic cauldron is lit after the flame arrives in Gangneung, South Korea, on Thursday. There are 20 athletes in Ukraine's team among the over 570 athletes who expected to compete at the Paralympics this year.

"It's my first Paralympics, first race, so it's just a great way to kick off the week and hopefully (there's) more to come", she said.

In addition to the 48 nations, athletes from Russian Federation will also take part under the banner of "neutral Paralympic athletes" after their country failed to satisfy the International Paralympic Committee over doping concerns.

South Korean diplomats visited North Korea earlier in the week, before heading to Washington debrief the White House.

Some of the adapted sports have become hits with spectators, such as fast and furious para ice hockey where competitors slide around on double-bladed sledges.

American Daniel Cnossen, a former US Navy Seal, took gold in the men's sit ski. Also, 18 Team USA athletes have served in the US military.

Marie Bochet and Benjamin Daviet clinched France's first golds, in women's standing downhill skiing and men's standing biathlon respectively.

Both teams appeared separately under their own countries' flags at the parade during the opening ceremony.

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

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