Ukraine decides to compete in Paralympics in Sochi

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 7, 2014 at 8:58 am •  Published: March 7, 2014
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"We want sport to prevail and a full complement of teams to compete in what we are confident will be a fantastic Paralympic Winter Games," IPC President Phillip Craven said.

"All week the IPC has been working closely with the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee in an effort to keep them here in Sochi. The talking point of Sochi 2014 needs to be great sport and great athletes, not global politics."

The IPC has appealed for Russia to recognize the U.N.'s Olympic Truce, which asks warring parties to cease hostilities during the Olympics and Paralympics.

About 575 athletes from 45 countries are due to compete in the 10-day Paralympics. Five sports are on the program — alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.

Ukraine has entered 23 athletes for the Sochi Paralympics. It finished fifth in the medals table at the Winter Paralympics in Vancouver in 2010, with a total of 19 medals and five gold.

Ukrainian athletes chanted "peace to Ukraine" as they apparently walked out of a flag-raising ceremony in Sochi on Thursday night. That is now under investigation by the IPC as a possible breach of rules banning political protests.

"What we're trying to do is gather the evidence, gather the transcripts and then we will see if any steps are necessary," IPC spokesman Craig Spence said. "If there was a political protest, obviously we'd be disappointed by that because we have said all week that this is about sport, not politics."


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