2018 Winter Paralympics
The 2018 Winter Paralympics (Hangul: 평창 동계 패럴림픽; Hanja: 平昌 冬季 패럴림픽; RR: Pyeongchang Donggye Paereollimpik), the 12th Paralympic Winter Games, and also more generally known as the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, are an international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), that is currently taking place in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, from 9 to 18 March 2018.
|Host city||Pyeongchang County, South Korea|
(Korean: 하나된 열정.)
|Events||80 in 6 sports|
|Opening ceremony||9 March|
|Closing ceremony||18 March|
|Officially opened by||PresidentMoon Jae-in|
|Paralympic torch||Kim Eun-jung|
|Paralympic stadium||Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium|
Athletes representing 49 National Paralympic Committees are participating in these Games, which mark the first time that South Korea has hosted the Winter Paralympics and the second Paralympics held in the country overall, after the 1988 Summer Paralympics in Seoul.
As part of a formal agreement between the International Paralympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee first established in 2001, the winner of the bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics was also to host the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
|2018 Winter Olympics bidding results|
The opening ceremony was held on 9 March 2018. The site of the opening ceremony Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium was built specifically for the games.
Competitions in the 2018 Winter Paralympics are being held in six Winter Paralympic sports, with 80 medal events in total. Snowboarding has been expanded into a separate discipline for 2018, with 10 medal events (in 2014, two medal events in snowboarding were held within the alpine skiing programme).
In the following calendar for the 2018 Winter Paralympics, each blue box represents an event competition. The yellow boxes represent days during which medal-awarding finals for a sport are held. The number in each yellow box represents the number of finals that are contested on that day.
|●||Opening ceremony||Event competitions||Event finals||●||Closing ceremony|
|Para ice hockey||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||●||1||1|
Participating National Paralympic Committees
|Participating National Paralympic Committees|
- Russia is currently suspended by the International Paralympic Committee due to the state-sponsored doping program scandal. However, the IPC has allowed Russian athletes to qualify as neutral participants. They will field around 30–35 athletes in 5 sports, participating as Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA), and will also march under the Paralympic flag at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and the Paralympic anthem will be played in any ceremony.
- Three nations will make their Winter Paralympic debut: North Korea, Georgia and Tajikistan.
Pyeongchang Mountain cluster
The Alpensia Resort in Daegwallyeong-myeon will be the focus of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics.
- Alpensia Resort – Biathlon, cross country skiing
- Main Olympic Village – Athletes Village
- Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium – Awards and Opening and Closing Ceremonies
- Jeongseon Alpine Centre – alpine skiing and snowboarding
Gangneung coastal cluster
Host nation (South Korea)
|1||United States (USA)||8||7||6||21|
|2||Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA)||6||7||4||17|
Television rights were sold in various countries and territories; the IPC partnered with the IOC's streaming service Olympic Channel for online streaming coverage of these Paralympics.
In 2017, the European Broadcasting Union renewed its rights to the Paralympics in 25 European countries through 2020 In the United States, NBC Sports announced plans to air nearly twice as much coverage on linear television as it did in Sochi, with 94 hours airing primarily on NBCSN and the U.S. version of Olympic Channel, along with online streaming content. In Canada, the CBC announced that it would broadcast over 600 hours of coverage in English and French across its platforms, including CBC Television, Ici Radio-Canada Télé, and sublicence partners Sportsnet One and AMI-tv. Channel 4 returned as the Games' rightsholder in the United Kingdom, planning over 100 hours of television coverage on Channel 4 and 4Seven.
The ticket prices for the 2018 Winter Paralympics were announced on 8 June 2017 and tickets went on sale on 21 August 2017.
Prices for sporting event tickets range from ₩10,000 to 50,000 (approx. $8–45 USD). Opening and closing ceremony tickets range from ₩10,000 to ₩140,000 (approx. $8-125 USD).
As of 19 January, tickets to the Paralympic Games were 70% sold. (155,000 tickets out of a total of 223,353 allocated).
The emblem for the 2018 Winter Paralympics was unveiled on 29 October 2013 at the National Museum of Korea. It incorporates stylized renditions of the hangul letter ㅊch (as also used in the Olympic emblem), which symbolizes part of the name Pyeongchang and resembles ice crystals. The Paralympic emblem features two of these letters joined together, symbolizing equality and a "grand" festival welcoming international athletes and spectators.
The official mascots of the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled on 2 June 2016. The Paralympic mascot, Bandabi, is an Asian black bear that symbolizes "strong will and courage".
To attract interest from residents and foreign tourists, the Korea Tourism Organization organized Snow Festival, a "Hallyu festival", to serve as cultural programming for the Paralympics. Actors Jang Keun-suk and Lee Dong-wook purchased 2,018 and 1,000 tickets for themselves and fans to attend sledge hockey games accompanied by meetups, while a K-pop concert featuring B1A4 and BtoB was also organized.
Concerns and controversies
North Korean relations
Prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics, North Korea agreed to have its athletes march together with those of the South Korean team during the opening ceremonies, and field a unified women's hockey team. However, during a meeting in Pyeongchang between the leaders of their National Paralympic Committees, the two countries were unable to organize a similar arrangement for the Paralympics. The South Korean Paralympic Committee stated that North Korean officials had requested that the Liancourt Rocks (which are the subject of an ongoing sovereignty dispute between South Korea and Japan) be included on the Korean Unification Flag during the Paralympics. South Korea declined this request, as they considered it contradictory to IPC recommendations against political gestures.
IPC president Andrew Parsons expressed disappointment over the decision, but noted that the country "respects and values the IPC's vision and mission" and had "committed to working further with the IPC to improve the lives of people with an impairment in North Korea", while also acknowledging that the IOC had "made great progress in opening up dialogue between the two nations" prior to the Olympics, and that their meeting "underlines the tremendous ability of sport to bring countries together in positive dialogue."