Curtain closes on Paralympics as China, Ukraine star – Newspaper

BEIJING: Beijing’s Winter Paralympic Games were closed on Sunday as athletes from Russia and Belarus were banned, the host country’s outstanding performances and war-torn Ukraine athletes were banned from playing.

China handed the Paralympic flag to Milan-Cortina, Italy, which is preparing to host the Olympic Games for the first time in four years at the capital bird’s nest stadium.

Beijing was the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and there is hope this year’s Games will leave a legacy of better access and rights for 85 million Chinese with disabilities.

In his closing speech, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons welcomed the athletes as “beacons of hope and champions of peace”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) participated in suppressing the 9-day Paralympic flame, including ice hockey for the disabled, wheelchair curling, snowboarding for the disabled, alpine skiing for the disabled, biathlon for the disabled, and cross-country skiing.

The Ukrainian athletes took an astonishing second place in the medal rankings after their best performances at the Paralympic Winter Games.

One athlete learned that her military father had been taken prisoner by the Russian army during the Olympics, while another won the gold medal after discovering that her home in Kharkiv had been bombed.

The team, which dominated biathlon and cross-country skiing, recorded 11 gold medals and 29 podium finishes. This is four more medals than the national record held in Turin in 2006.

The national team beat France and Norway in Sunday’s open cross-country relay to claim the gold medal in the final.

Team veteran Vitalii Lukianenko, 43, who won double gold and silver medals in the biathlon, held the Ukrainian flag during the closing ceremony.

With 18 gold medals and 61 medals, China overtook Ukraine, Canada, France and the United States to take the first place in medal count, emerging as a formidable powerhouse.

Over 560 athletes from 46 countries took part in the event and medals poured out on the final day of the event.

The United States defeated Canada 5-0 to win the Para Ice Hockey gold medal.

The Americans also dominated, sharing the podium with China and Canada in the mixed cross-country relay at Zhangjiakou, while men from Italy, France and Norway took the final gold medal in alpine skiing.

Posted at Serb on March 14, 2022