2014 Winter Paralympics
||This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.|
|XI Paralympic Winter Games|
Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics official logo
|Host city||Sochi, Russia|
|Motto||Hot. Cool. Yours.
(Russian: Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.)
|Events||72 in 5 sports|
|Opening ceremony||7 March|
|Closing ceremony||16 March|
|Officially opened by||President Vladimir Putin|
|Athlete's Oath||Valery Redkozubov|
|Paralympic Torch||Sergey Shilov
|Paralympic Stadium||Fisht Olympic Stadium|
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The 2014 Winter Paralympics, the eleventh Paralympic Winter Games, and also more generally known as the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, are a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), currently being held in Sochi, Russia from 7–16 March 2014. 45 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) are expected to participate in the Games, which will mark the first time Russia has hosted the Paralympics. The Games will feature 72 medal events in five sports, and will see the debut of snowboarding at the Winter Paralympics.
The lead-up to these games were met with concerns regarding Russia's recent military intervention in the nearby Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, which led to both the United Kingdom and United States choosing not to send governmental delegations to the Games, British government officials intending to publicly boycott the games, and all but one member of the Ukrainian Paralympic team symbolically protesting by refusing to attend the opening ceremony. While an IPC representative stated that it intends to monitor the situation throughout the Games, these concerns have not yet affected the participation of athletes from these three countries—although, the head of Ukraine's NPC has threatened to pull its athletes from the Games if the situation escalates.
- 1 Bidding process
- 2 Organization
- 3 The Games
- 4 Medals
- 5 Broadcasting
- 6 Concerns and controversies
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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 2014 Winter Olympics would also host the 2014 Winter Paralympics. Following the second and final round of voting at the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala City, Guatemala on July 4, 2007, the city of Sochi, Russia was awarded the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
|2014 Host City Election — ballot results|
|City||Country (NOC)||Round 1||Round 2|
As with previous Paralympics, the 2014 Winter Paralympics will use most of the same venues that were used by the Olympics, situated within the Sochi Olympic Park and the resort of Krasnaya Polyana. Despite the IPC believing that Russia had "zero track record in terms of accessibility" (given the Soviet Union passed on hosting the 1980 Summer Paralympics after claiming no disabled athletes lived in Russia), the venues were built to the IPC's standards, organizers were quick to fix some of the issues pointed out by officials during an audit of the venues in January 2014, and an IPC spokesperson stated that they were "confident and expect everything to be ready for Games time." Organizers and the IPC hoped that the Paralympics' legacy would make Sochi a role model for inclusive design throughout the country, and IPC president Philip Craven went as far as dubbing Sochi the first accessible city in Russia, commending the country's changed stance on disability since 1980.
Sochi Olympic Park (Coastal Cluster)
The Sochi Olympic Park was built by the Black Sea coast in the Imeretin Valley, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from Russia's border with Abkhazia. The venues are clustered around a central water basin with a synchronized fountain, allowing all indoor venues to be within walking distance. The venues which will be used during the Paralympics will include:
- Fisht Olympic Stadium – ceremonies (opening/closing) 40,000 spectators
- Shayba Arena – sledge hockey, 7,000 spectators
- Ice Cube Curling Center – wheelchair curling, 3,000 spectators
Krasnaya Polyana (Mountain Cluster)
- Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex – Biathlon, Cross-country skiing
- Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort – Alpine skiing
- Rosa Khutor Extreme Park – Snowboarding
A shortlist of 10 Olympic and 3 Paralympic designs were shown to the public on February 7, 2011, while the winners were revealed on February 26, 2011. This marks the third time (after Vancouver) that both Olympic and Paralympic mascots were unveiled at the same time. Ray of Light and Snowflake are the two mascots that were chosen for the 2014 Paralympic Games. Ray of Light and Snowflake come from different planets. Ray of Light comes from a planet where it's always hot, while Snowflake came to earth on an icy comet. She looks like a snowflake, while he has hair that looks like fire.
The opening ceremony of the Games were held at Fisht Olympic Stadium on 7 March 2014. Entitled "Breaking the Ice", the ceremony featured 2,500 performers in sequences paying tribute to Russian culture such as ballet. During the parade of nations, Ukraine chose to represent itself solely with a flagbearer in protest of the Crimean crisis. In his opening speech, IPC president Philip Craven praised Russia for finally fulfilling its "dream" of hosting the Paralympics after previously passing on the opportunity in 1980. He called upon spectators to have a "barrier-free mind", stating that "the sport you witness here will change you. Not just for now, but forever." The Paralympic cauldron was jointly lit by Russian Paralympians Olesya Vladykina and Sergey Shilov.
Participating National Paralympic Committees
- Andorra (1)
- Argentina (3)
- Armenia (1)
- Australia (9)
- Austria (13)
- Belarus (10)
- Belgium (2)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (2)
- Brazil (2)
- Bulgaria (2)
- Canada (54)
- Chile (2)
- China (10)
- Croatia (2)
- Czech Republic (18)
- Denmark (2)
- Finland (13)
- France (14)
- Germany (13)
- Great Britain (12)
- Greece (1)
- Iceland (2)
- Iran (1)
- Italy (34)
- Japan (20)
- Kazakhstan (5)
- Mexico (1)
- Mongolia (1)
- Netherlands (7)
- New Zealand (3)
- Norway (31)
- Poland (8)
- Romania (1)
- Russia (68)
- Serbia (1)
- Slovakia (16)
- Slovenia (1)
- South Korea (27)
- Spain (7)
- Sweden (22)
- Switzerland (8)
- Turkey (2)
- Ukraine (23)
- United States (74)
- Uzbekistan (2)
The sports scheduled to be competed in Sochi include:
- Alpine skiing (32) ( )
- Biathlon (18) ( )
- Cross-country skiing (20) ( )
- Ice sledge hockey (1) ( )
- Wheelchair curling (1) ( )
|OC||Opening ceremony||●||Event competitions||#||Event finals||CC||Closing ceremony|
|Ice sledge hockey||●||●||●||●||●||●||1||1|
Sochi's Paralympic medal design was unveiled in May 2013 alongside its Olympic equivalent. The design incorporates a "patchwork quilt" of diamonds, some of which are translucent, containing designs that reflect Russia's regions, and also contain inscriptions in braille.
Host nation (Russia)
|9||Great Britain (GBR)||1||2||1||4|
In February 2013, following its successful broadcast of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, British broadcaster Channel 4 announced on February 2014 that it had obtained the broadcast rights to further Games, including the 2014 Winter Paralympics, and 2016 Summer Paralympics. Channel 4 plans to broadcast more than 45 hours of coverage from Sochi. Australian coverage will be provided by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, however, with the exception of the Opening Ceremony which was screened live, coverage will be limited to a daily half-hour highlights show.
In the United States, NBC Sports acquired the rights to the 2014 and 2016 Paralympics in September 2013. Following criticism of its minimal coverage of past Paralympics (such as at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, where in contrast to its extensive Olympics coverage, it broadcast only five-and-a-half hours of highlights), NBC announced plans for a total of 52 hours of coverage during the Games, with at least 27 hours of coverage (including the ceremonies) broadcast live. The majority of its coverage will be relegated to NBC Sports Network, but NBC will air highlights of the opening ceremony the following afternoon, and live coverage of the sledge hockey finals. In Canada, the CBC will produce and syndicate television and digital coverage of the Games, which will be broadcast by CBC Television (30 hours), Ici Radio-Canada Télé (French, 7 hours), and Sportsnet. AMI-tv will provide coverage with described video, and Yahoo! Sports Canada will also syndicate digital content.
Concerns and controversies
On 27–28 February 2014 in the aftermath of the Ukrainian revolution, Russian troops seized control of most of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine located on the northern coast of the Black Sea (roughly 480 kilometres (300 mi) from Sochi), including civil buildings, airports, and military bases. On 1 March 2014, the Russian legislature approved the use of the Russian military in Ukraine, and Russian officials stated that their military forces in Crimea were not a breach of existing agreements between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian response has been muted trying to find a diplomatic solution, with no military action on the part of Ukraine's government, which was formed in Kiev less than a week before the intervention. Russia vowed troops would stay until the political situation has been "normalised".
The effects of these developments on the Paralympics have led to several notable political actions. On 2 March 2014, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that British government officials were planning to boycott the 2014 Winter Paralympics in response to the situation in Crimea, while Prince Edward cancelled plans to travel to Sochi for the Games "on the advice of government." On 3 March 2014, United States National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden announced that the United States would not send a presidential delegation to Sochi (which was to be led by Tammy Duckworth) at all, "in addition to other measures we are taking in response to the situation in Ukraine." Neither of the boycotts will affect the participation of the UK and US in the Games; in particular, Hayden went on to say that "President Obama continues to strongly support all of the U.S. athletes who will participate in the Paralympics and wishes them great success".
IPC communications head Craig Spence reported that there have not been any boycott efforts among athletes, and stated that although the organization will keep an eye on the situation in the Crimea, "we've obviously expressed our disappointment with what's going on in the political situation, but at the end of the day, we're not here to do politics. We're here to organize a sporting event." He went on to emphasize that the same level of security measures in place during the Olympics would be in place during the Paralympics, ensuring that Sochi would be the "safest place" in the country during the Games.
The Ukraine team will still participate in the Games, but Valeriy Sushkevich, head of the country's National Paralympic Committee, warned that they would boycott the Games and withdraw all of their athletes if the situation escalates into an invasion of eastern Ukraine. As a symbolic protest, all but one of the country's 31 athletes declined to attend the opening ceremony. Nordic skier and flagbearer Mykailo Tkachenko was the sole representative of Ukraine in the parade of nations; his entrance was met with a roar of applause from the crowd in attendance.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2014 Winter Paralympics.|
|Wikinews has related news: Category:2014 Winter Paralympics|
- Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official website
- International Paralympic Committee
XI Paralympic Winter Games (2014)