Bach receives prestigious award from South Korean President following Pyeongchang 2018

Joshua Bennett
March 10, 2018

Fireworks explode as the Olympic cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, March 9, 2018.

In a spectacle that featured a rhythmic drum dance, projections of fish and animals coming to life and a boat symbolically powered by the equipment used in Paralympic games, a record 567 athletes paraded into the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium to officially commence the 10-day festival that runs through March 18.

She has competed on every Winter Paralympic team since 2006 along with sled hockey player Steve Cash and Alpine skiing teammate Tyler Walker.

One of her country's best-credentialed athletes in PyeongChang, she is soon to turn her attention to winning its first Winter Games gold medal in 16 years.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) had offered both countries the chance to march together under the same conditions as last month's Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.

"That was kind of amusing", Arendz said, noting they have known each other for years from other Paralympic Games. Poles will be competing in the first four disciplines.

Paralympians are an eclectic bunch, ranging from a 61-year-old Japanese ice hockey goaltender to a Mexican who found unlikely success as a mono-skier.

The Athletes are racing to capture a spot on the podium in six qualifying sports- alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, para ice hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

According to the IPC, the Taskforce highlighted two criteria that were still outstanding: the full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by Professor McLaren.

Host Russia won a whopping 80 medals at the 2014 Sochi Games with Ukraine coming in a distant second with 25 medals.

Schultz enters the Paralympics as one of the top snowboarders in the world having won a silver medal in banked slalom at the 2017 world championships.

Three athletes have also competed in summer sports at the Paralympic Games: Brad Bowden, Cindy Ouellet and Liam Hickey (all in wheelchair basketball).

With home-field advantage, South Korea will first aim to collect its first ever gold medal in the Winter Paralympics. He is the flag-bearer for today's opening ceremonies. An additional two nations will make their Winter Games debut - Tajikistan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

He was selected in a vote by U.S. athletes, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Wednesday.

North Korean officials said they do "not accept the fact that Dokdo can not be marked due to political issues held in Korea", Reuters reported.

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.

Competition begins on Saturday. A total of 800 torchbearers participated in groups of two to complete the 2,018 km distance.

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