Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics kicks off in vibrant ceremony. (Photo: Yonhap/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games was kicked off in the Republic of Korea alpine town of PyeongChang in a vibrant opening ceremony on March 9.

The ceremony took place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, the same venue of the PyeongChang Olympics 2018 held last month, telling a story about dreams and hopes of athletes with disabilities from all around the world and their great courage to overcome frailties.
 
​Performances at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
​Performances at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
​Performances at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Japanese athletes march at the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Athletes ​carry the Paralympics torch during the opening ceremony for the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics at Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang, the Republic of Korea. (Photo: Yonhap/VNA)

The Paralympics will run from March 9-18, featuring up to 570 athletes from 49 countries and territories. The athletes will compete for 80 medals across six Winter Paralympic sports, including alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

It is the first Winter Paralympics held in the Republic of Korea and marks the first time the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) participated with six athletes.

The official mascot of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games is “Bandabi” an Asiatic black bear, founded on the RoK’s mythology and closely associated with Korean culture and folklore. The bear is symbolic of strong will and courage.

Similar to the 2018 Olympic Games, there will be a variety of cultural events hosted at sports venues on the sidelines of the Paralympics. Gangneung Olympic Park and Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza will offer free admission to visitors.-VNA