Mar 4, 2022 - Sports

In photos: Paralympics officially begin without Russian athletes

Flag bearer Maksym Yarovyi of Team Ukraine leads their team out during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics
Flag bearer Maksym Yarovyi of Team Ukraine leads his team out during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The 2022 Paralympics Winter Games officially got underway in Beijing Friday.

The big picture: The Games — which end March 13 — come against the backdrop of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The International Paralympic Committee this week banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the Paralympic Winter Games.

  • The International Olympic Committee has "strongly condemned" Russia for violating the Olympic Truce when it attacked Ukraine.
  • The truce, a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly last year, began seven days before the start of the Beijing Olympics and ends seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Games, which are slated to end March 13.

What they're saying: The president of the International Paralympic Committee said during Friday's opening ceremony that he was "horrified" by the invasion, adding "the 21st century is a time for dialogue and diplomacy, not war and hate."

  • "At the IPC, we aspire to a better and more inclusive world, free from discrimination, free from hate, free from ignorance and free from conflict," he added.

What to watch: Three delegations are making their Winter Paralympics debut, Azerbaijan, Israel and Puerto Rico, and three more are back after lengthy absences, Liechtenstein, Estonia and Latvia, Axios' Jeff Tracy reports.

In photos:
Flag bearers Tyler Carter and Danelle Umstead of the U.S. lead their team out during the opening ceremony. Photo: Wang He/Getty Images for International Paralympic Committee
 Flag bearers Tyler Carter and Danelle Umstead of Team United States lead their team out during the Opening Ceremony.
Flag bearers Tyler Carter and Danelle Umstead of Team USA lead their team out during the opening ceremony. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
The Paralympic Flame is lit in the stadium by Paralympic athlete Li Duan.
The Paralympic flame is lit in the stadium by Paralympic athlete Li Duan. Photo: Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images
A torchbearer lights the Paralympics cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.
A torchbearer lights the Paralympics cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
A firework display is seen above the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.
A fireworks display is seen above the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Flag bearer Maksym Yarovyi of Team Ukraine during the Opening Ceremony.
Ukrainian flag bearer Maksym Yarovyi during the opening ceremony. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Maksym Yarovyi, flag bearer of Ukraine, enters the stadium with the team from Ukraine during the opening ceremony.
Ukrainian flag bearer Maksym Yarovyi enters the stadium. Photo: Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images
A torchbearer carries the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.
A torchbearer carries the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics. Photo: Wang He/Getty Images for International Paralympic Committee
China's President Xi Jinping waves during the opening ceremony.
China's President Xi Jinping waves during the opening ceremony. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images
Torch bearers pass the flame to each other during the Beijing 2022 Paralympic torch relay at Shougang Park on March 04, 2022
Torchbearers pass the flame to each other during the Beijing 2022 Paralympic torch relay at Shougang Park on March 4. Photo: Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details from the opening ceremony.

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