Opening Paralympics 2018 / REUTERS
The opening of Paralympics 2018 in Pyeongchang South Korea, Friday 9 March 2018.
There are many interesting things on this winter sports mat. Paralympics 2018 becomes the winter sports title for disability with the most participants. The female athlete participant is also the largest compared to before. The number of countries that participated in the game increased and more than ever before.
North Korea's presence makes this event feel special. In addition, two other countries that feel the first winter sports event for the first time this is Georgia and Tajikistan.
More than 560 athletes will compete for over 80 medals in six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowboarding, and wheelchairs.
As reported by the official website of Paralympics 2018, there are six facts that are not widely known about the event. Here are the facts:
1. Not all sports will be contested in PyeongChang
Biathlon and cross country events will take place at Biathlon Alpensia Center, located in PyeongChang. But none of the other four sports will be contested in the same city. Alpine ski and snowboard competitions will be held in the neighboring area of Jeongseon. The coastal city of Gangneung will host ice hockey and wheelchair events.
2. Norway leads the medal
During the paralympic event, Norway was listed as the most successful country. They have won a total of 319 medals, which consists of 135 gold, 103 silver, and 81 bronze. Norway participated in every edition since it was first held in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, in 1976. They maintained their best performance to date. When Paralympics 1984 in Lillehammer, Norway won 29 golds. Austria is Norway's main rival with 325 medals, but the fewer gold gains from Norway are 104 gold.
3. How far is PyeongChang from Seoul and North Korea?
For those who follow to watch Paralympics 2018, the city is only 126 miles from the capital of South Korea, Seoul. A fast train can be boarded from Seoul with a long journey of less than 2 hours. The position of PyeongChang is also only about 65 kilometers from the demilitarized zone on the border with North Korea.
4. Ice hockey and wheelchair curling are mixed sports
Two of the six sports featured on the 2018 Paralympics program are a mixture of men and women. At the 2016 Summer Paralympics also features two mixed sports with rugby riding and wheelchairs. Other branches such as archery, cycling, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming and wheelchair tennis are also mixed.
5. Ragnhild Myklebust, queen of ice and snow
Norwegian paralympian Ragnhild Myklebust was the most medal winner with a total of 27 medals (22 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) in 1988 and 2002. He is the most prolific skier and biathlete. Myklebust is also the most successful skater speed skater, the last sporting sport to be in the Olympics in 1998.
6. Two sports have been contested in each Paralympics
Only alpine and cross-country skiing has been part of the winter paralympics since the first edition of Ornskoldsvik in 1976. Biathlon debuted in Innsbruck 1988, a snowboard four years ago in Sochi, The ice hockey since Lillehammer 1994, while wheelchairs were included in Turin on 2006.