Google Doodle: the Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang

Johnson Cherian.
On Friday, Google celebrated the opening of the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, with a doodle.
The South Korean city very recently hosted the latest edition of the Winter Olympics. The doodle features all six sporting events in the Winter Paralympics – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, para ice hockey, snowboard and wheelchair curling.
The games will be held between March 9 to 18. The games will feature up to 670 athletes, an increase from the 539 athletes who competed in the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. The number of female athletes has increased by 44% from 2014.
The athletes, from 50 teams, will compete in 80 medal events.
Pyeongchang won the bid to host the games after one round of voting at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, bagging 63 votes. The other two cities that bid were Munich (25 votes) and Annecy, France (7 votes).
What is special about this edition?
North Korea will be participating in the Winter Paralympics for the first time. This comes on the heels of a historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and senior South Korean government officials for the first time, in Pyongyang, further breaking the thaw between the two neighbouring countries. At the Winter Olympics recently, North and South Korean athletes marched together at the opening ceremony and the games featured a unified women’s ice hockey team.
In the Paralympics, however, the North Korean contingent is just two and the two countries will march separately at the opening ceremony.
North Korea aside, Georgia and Tajikistan will also be competing for the first time.
What is Russia’s status?
Following the doping scandal that led to Russia being banned from the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, 30 Russian athletes will compete under the banner of “Neutral Paralympic Athletes”.
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