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

Thunder edge out Red Devils in overtime Team NZ happy with final shakedown while Oracle claim speed gains Team New Zealand blows All Blacks out of the water, at least when it comes to internet searches Duncan Johnstone: America's Cup win would be fitting reward for dogged Grant Dalton 'Go well boys': Team New Zealand's message for the All Blacks ahead of first Lions test America's Cup: Team New Zealand coach Murray Jones on why they are winning Foiling monohulls an option for next America's Cup if Team NZ win 'Look at those legs' comment at awards ceremony draws indignation Sir Russell Coutts braces for defeat: Clean sweeps are nothing new in the America's Cup If anyone can, it's Jimmy Spithill - Oracle training partner warns

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