Putin opens Winter Paralympics in Sochi

Last updated 08:53 08/03/2014
Paralympics
Getty Images
OPEN: Vladimir Putin has opened the Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Christchurch teenager Barclay Miller signs international AFL scholarship with St Kilda Peter Burling, Blair Tuke report for Team New Zealand duties New Zealand pitcher John Holdzkom looks to lock down a place in Pittsburgh Pirates' bullpen Live blog: McEvedy Shield 2015 Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - March 3 Video review helps American heavyweight Jason Pettaway prepare for Joseph Parker Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson faces some 'tough calls' after world championships trial Tom Hubbard, Rose Marshall-Lee win Calder Stewart Cycling Series first round Janina Kuzma wins US Grand Prix halfpipe ski title Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton under fire as PR springs leak

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened the Winter Paralympics in Sochi against the backdrop of his country's military action in Crimea.

During the athletes' parade, the 23-strong Ukrainian team was represented by a lone flagbearer in an apparent protest at the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The appearance of the flagbearer, biathlete Mykhaylo Tkachenko, drew a roar from the crowd.

The Ukrainian team only announced earlier in the day that it would not boycott the games, but said it could pull out if the Crimea situation escalates.

A lavish ceremony based on the mythical firebird of Russian folklore marked the start of the 11th Winter Paralympics, a 10-day event featuring 547 athletes from 45 countries.

Putin stood at a microphone in front of a capacity crowd at the Fisht Olympic Stadium and announced: "I declare open the Winter Paralympic Games 2014, Sochi."

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content