Liam Hickey, Canada ready to begin competition at the Paralympic Games

Paralympics GB star Kelly Gallagher is in Pyeongchang for her third Winter Games and has a simple message for the British public: Don't tell me we're not a winter sports nation.

More than 600 athletes are set to compete in the 2018 Winter Games, including 44 percent more female athletes than competed in the 2014 games.

Thursday saw the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) say the Korean unification flag could not be changed.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in officially declared the biggest Winter Paralympics in history open, before a show of fireworks lit up the night sky above the stadium.

The Paralympic Games is a huge global multi-sport event involving athletes with a range of disabilities. Masters is a four-time Paralympian who competed in rowing in 2012 and in cycling in 2016.

The decision was reportedly linked to a disagreement between the two Koreas on the addition of the disputed Dokdo islets, which are also claimed by Japan, on the flag.

Russian biathlete and cross-country skier Mikhalina Lysova has been invited to the Paralympics despite the German Disabled Sports Association saying her name appears in the McLaren report alleging a state-run doping conspiracy. "But we have our own Games".

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It was announced yesterday that the National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) North and South Korea will march separately at today's Opening Ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games, where Bach will be among those in attendance.

There was no notable reaction for the North Korean entrance from the crowd, who were polite but subdued for most of the evening.

Coverage begins with the opening ceremony at 6 a.m. ET Friday on NBCSN.

Snowboarder Owen Pick led the British team into the arena as flagbearer. They will exclusively be called "Neutral Paralympic Athletes" (NPA).

Paralympians are an eclectic bunch, ranging from a 61-year-old Japanese ice hockey goaltender to a Mexican who found unlikely success as a mono-skier.

The Paralympic Games first took place in Rome in 1960 and were the Summer Games.

  • Carlos Nash