by    0   0
AbledSports Sochi Paralympics logo banner shows the logo over a slightly blurred image of fireworks above the Olympic site in Sochi, Russia.
AbledSports Post Banner shows a photo of Biathlete Mikhaylo Tkachenko, the flag bearer for the Ukrainian Paralympic team wearing their blue uniform with a yellow torso, and with the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine mounted on his wheelchair as he enters the Olympic stadium in Sochi to thunderous applause during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games. The headline reads: Sochi Paralympics: How will the Russia/Ukraine crisis Impact the Paralympics?
Update Banner

Saturday March 8, 2014Sochi Paralympics Underway – Ukrainian Team ‘Silent Protest’

 

With the threat of civil war hanging in the air, the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games are underway, and in the days leading up to the opening ceremonies, everyone was wondering whether the team from Ukraine would boycott the Games in the face of Russia’s aggression in their country.

Part of the question was answered during Friday’s opening ceremonies as biathlete Mikhaylo Tkachenko, the flag-bearer for the Ukrainian Paralympic Team, rolled his wheelchair up the ramp and into the Fisht Olympic Stadium to thunderous applause.

But he was the only team member there. In something of a silent protest, the rest of the Ukrainian delegation was absent during the parade of athletes.  The country’s Paralympic officials had made a last-minute decision to participate in the games, but that may be evaluated on a daily basis as hostilities escalate

Boycotts From Official Delegations But Athletes Will Participate

 

The Sochi 2014 Paralympics officially open today under the kind of dark political cloud that has hung over previous Olympic Games. This time around, it’s Russian aggression in Ukraine that will cast a shadow over these games as the world’s media attempts to balance between two tracks of coverage.

 

The Games are supposed to be about the spirit of sportsmanship, and in the case of the Paralympics, about creating equality among athletes regardless of ability or impairment. 

 

The International Paralympic Committee has appealed for Russia to recognize the U.N.’s Olympic Truce, which asks warring parties to cease hostilities during the Olympics and Paralympics. Across five sports — alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling — 575 athletes from 45 countries will be competing. TV stations in more than 55 countries are due to broadcast the games, the IPC said.

 

There will be empty VIP seats at today’s opening ceremonies after official government delegations from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada cancelled their attendance in protest over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

 

Athletes from Ukraine may also boycott the games. Officials from the Ukrainian Paralympic delegation will announce their decision at about 09:30 GMT / 01:30 AM EST  this morning. 

 

The Ukrainian winter Paralympic team staged a protest at their welcoming ceremony in Sochi over Russia’s intervention in Crimea. The team of 31 people walked out of Thursday evening’s formal event at the athletes’ village before it had finished, chanting in unison as they went, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said. They were led by Ukraine’s Chef de Mission and were reportedly chanting “Peace to Ukraine”.

 

Before they left the group watched their country’s flag raised to the national anthem and the Chef de Mission signed the Welcome Wall, erected by the United Nations in support of rights for people with disabilities.

 

“Almost all of my sportsmen on the ice cry,” said Ukrainian Paralympic Committee president Valeriy Suskevich. “They are very nervous, very afraid about their country, about their life and [their] future life in my country.” When asked if his 23-strong team  could boycott the Games, Suskevich admitted “it is possible” and called on leaders from around the world to help Ukraine.

 

BBC Olympic sports writer Nick Hope reports that on Tuesday, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Sir Philip Craven told the BBC he opposed boycotting as a political statement, but would support any nation that chose to withdraw from the Games.

 

Speaking ahead of Suskevich’s announcement, IPC spokesperson Craig Spence said he did not believe Russia had violated the ‘Olympic Truce’. “At the moment we’re monitoring the situation,” he said. “We don’t want to enter into politics. Our job here is to put on the Paralympic Games with Sochi 2014.”

 

We’ll have updated reports later in the day.

Related Organizations banner

 

Abled Public Service link for the United Nations Human Rights Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link for Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link to The Carter Center. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link for the American University Washington College of Law Center For Human Rights And Humanitarian Law. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims. CLick here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link to Freedom from Torture. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link for Human Rights Watch. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link to Amnesty International and their comments on the situation in Ukraine. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link to Global Rights. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link for Disability Rights international. Click here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service link for Disabled People's International. Click here to go to their website.

 

AbledNews - More Posts banner.
AbledRights Post Link Banner shows riot police standing guard in front of the regional administration in Donetsk, Ukraine before nearly a hundred pro-Russian protestors seized two floors of the building. Click here to go to the Post.
AbledPoll link Box shows a photo of Oscar Pistorius dressed in a grey hooded sweat top as he leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder. Click here to go to the poll on the story page.
AbledCoping Post Banner shows an anorexic teenage girl in a bra and panties looking in the mirror and seeing herself as fat. The headline reads: Eating Disorders: UK Charity Finds National Health Service 'Failing' UK Students. Click here to go to the post.
AbledPeople Post link Banner shows Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist in Moguls Skiing - Alex Bilodeau and his brother Frederic whom he cites as his greatest inspiration as he lives with Cerebral Palsy. Click here to go to the post.
AboutAbled link Banner shows Abled Co-Founder Laura Meddens looking out at the seaside at sunset in Curaçao with the text Laura Meddens: An Abled Vision For Global Accessibility, Inclusion and Equality. Click here to go to the AboutAbled page.
Click here to return to the Abled.com homepage.

thoughts on this post

Back to Top