The 2018 Winter Paralympics started on 9th March in Pyeongchang. South Korea welcomed over 500 athletes from across the world to take part, competing for over 80 medals. Events range from alpine skiing, cross-country skiing to ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
With this being the biggest Winter Paralympics to date, here are the top 5 things to look out for when watching these games.
- British Competitors taking home medals: It is said that the British Paralympian’s are hoping to bring home no less than seven medals, which would make it the nation’s most successful Winter Paralympics for more than 30 years. One to keep your eye on is Millie Knight the visually impaired skier, at the age of 15 became Britain’s youngest ever winter Paralympian in 2014. And last year at the World Championship she took home a gold and four silvers.
- Another athlete to watch is Mike Schultz. Not only is he the world’s top-ranked snowboard-cross and banked slalom boarder, he actually competes using prosthetics that he designs and manufactured for himself in a workshop behind his house. The success of his high-tech creations is outstanding, they are also being used by over 30 other athletes taking part in the games. Let’s hope he’s not beaten by someone wearing his creation, although that’s what would be called a win win situation!
- South Korea winning a gold medal: Being the host of the games and with home advantage, there is no doubt that they will be trying their hardest to win a gold medals. The most likely to bring home the win are Nordic skier Eui Hyun Sin and alpine skier Jae Rim Yang so keep an eye on them to see if they can win gold!
- North Korea’s presence: For the first time in the history of the Winter Paralympics, North Korea will be sending two athletes Kim Jong Hyon and Ma Yu Chol, who are both skiers, they will be accompanied by four other athletes who won’t be taking part. Unfortunately, they didn’t walk in the opening ceremony with South Korea as they did at the winter Olympics, as officials failed to agree on a design of a flag for them to carry.
- Too Much Snow: In complete contrast with the Winter Olympics having barely any real snow, over the past couple of days more than 20cm fell on Pyeongchang, therefore instead of hiring snow machines they have had to hire eight dump trucks and 200 people to take the snow away.