Winter Paralympics Open in Cheery Mood

The para hockey player from St. John's is part of the Canadian men's sledge hockey team that is competing at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

More than 600 athletes are set to compete in the 2018 Winter Games, including 44 percent more female athletes than competed in the 2014 games.

South and North Korean cross-country skiers carried the torch together, before the flame was used to light the cauldron. The team won bronze at the 2017 world championships behind Canada and the United States.

The original Paralympic competitions started more than 100 years ago, according to, with the first sport clubs for deaf athletes in Berlin dating back to 1888.

The decision was reportedly linked to a disagreement between the two Koreas on the addition of the disputed Dokdo islets, which are also claimed by Japan, on the flag. Russian Federation remains banned from the Paralympics following a decision in 2016 that barred the country from competing in the Rio Summer Paralympics because of a state-run doping system.

North Korea's first Winter Paralympians did not appear alongside South Korea's team, as happened at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, after a row over the blue-and-white Korean unification flag.

On January 29, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that it kept in force the suspension of the RPC after receiving an update from the IPC Taskforce responsible for monitoring the RPC's progress in meeting the reinstatement criteria.

"We've seen a shift occur over the previous two Olympic Games and the last World Cup. Four hours before we still did not have agreement for a joint march".

The opening ceremony took place on Friday at the city's Olympic stadium. Schultz will the lead the 74-member delegation in Friday's opening ceremony, which will be shown on NBC Sports Network at 6 a.m. It's the first time North Korean athletes have competed at the Winter Paralympics.

  • Kyle Peterson