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36 Para athletes from Russia march in opening ceremony of 2018 Paralympics

The delegation includes 29 Para athletes and five sighted guides

PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, March 9. /TASS/. Thirty-six Para athletes from Russia have participated in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Among them are Sochi Paralympic champions, Para-alpine skiers with blindness/visually impairment Alexandra Frantseva and Valery Redkozubov, two-time 2010 Paralympic champion, sitting biathlete and cross-country skier Maria Iovleva.

The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) said earlier that a delegation of Para athletes, personnel and officials from Russia to the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games would consist of 72 people. The delegation includes 29 Para athletes and five sighted guides, who will be assisting athletes with visual impairment, as well as 38 escort personnel and officials.

On January 29, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that it kept in force the suspension of the RPC after receiving an update from the IPC Taskforce responsible for monitoring the RPC’s progress in meeting the reinstatement criteria.

According to the IPC, the Taskforce highlighted two criteria that were still outstanding: the full reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the provision of an official response specifically and adequately addressing the findings made by Professor McLaren.

As the RPC remains suspended, Russian Para athletes will compete in the Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang on March 9-18 in the neutral status.