Ukrainian Paralympic athletes receive warm welcome in Beijing
While Russian and Belarusian athletes are sent home ahead of the Winter Paralympics' start, Ukrainian athletes receive a warm welcome in Beijing.
With the commencement of Day 1 of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games, Ukrainian athletes were given a warm welcome on Friday, after the IPC decided to send Russian and Belarusian athletes home over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons called for peace during the ceremony at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
“I am horrified at what is taking place in the world right now. The 21st century is a time for dialogue and diplomacy, not war and hate,” Parsons said.
According to a source, Parsons’s phrase was not translated into Chinese for viewers of state broadcaster CCTV.
China, and its President Xi Jinping, have refused to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And a month ago, on the same day Russia and China announced a “no limits” strategic partnership, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
On the eve of the Paralympic Games, the IPC decided to change its decision on Russian and Belarusian athletes participating at the Games as neutrals, due to threats of boycotts by other participating countries, like Great Britain.
A total of 564 athletes will compete at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, in 78 medal events, until March 13.