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The 2014 Winter Paralympics

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Last Friday, the 2014 Winter Paralympics officially opened in Sochi, Russia. During the next several days, 550 athletes with disabilities, representing 45 countries, will be competing in the facilities built for the Winter Olympics. Skiing, hockey, and curling are the primary sports, and there are divisions in the alpine events for athletes who compete sitting or standing, or who are visually impaired. Competition will continue until the closing ceremony on Sunday, March 16. [37 photos]

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Arly Velasquez of Mexico competes in the Men's Super G Sitting Skiing race, on day two of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center in Sochi, Russia, on March 9, 2014. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Arly Velasquez of Mexico competes in the Men's Super G Sitting Skiing race, on day two of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center in Sochi, Russia, on March 9, 2014. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
The sun sets over Olympic Park on day one of the Winter Paralympic Games, in Sochi, Russia. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images) #
Performers representing "Firebirds" fly above the arena during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games at Fisht Olympic Stadium, on March 7, 2014. (Ian Walton/Getty Images) #
Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Paralympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, on March 7, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images) #
Artists in the colors of Russia perform in the Fisht Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, on March 7, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images) #
Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Paralympics, on March 7, 2014. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images) #
An icebreaker named "Peace", part of a performance in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Paralympics, on March 7, 2014. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk) #
Canada's Athletes enter in the 2014 Paralympics Parade of Nations, on March 7, 2014. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk) #
Protesting Russia's role in the current Crimean crisis, team Ukraine sent only their flag-bearer Mykhaylo Tkachenko to take part in the Parade of Nations, on March 7, 2014. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk) #
Four-time track and field Paralympic champion and record-holder Aleksey Ashapatov of Russia, arrives in Fisht Stadium with the Olympic Flame, on March 7, 2014. (Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk) #
Fireworks over Fisht Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, on March 7, 2014. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
An athlete skis on course as she trains during day two of the 2014 Paralympics, at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center, on March 8, 2014. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
Laurie Stephens of USA, in the Women's Super-G - Sitting during day three of the 2014 Winter Paralympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, on March 10, 2014. (Ian Walton/Getty Images) #
Rasmus Lundren of Sweden and Zdenek Krupicka of Czech Republic in action during the Ice Sledge Hockey Preliminary Round Group A match between Czech Republic and Sweden at Shayba Arena, on March 9, 2014. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) #
Byeong-Seok Cho of Korea celebrates scoring Korea's 2nd goal during the Ice Sledge Hockey Preliminary Round Group B match between Russia and Korea at Shayba Arena, on March 8, 2014. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) #
Oksana Masters of USA competes in the women's 12km sitting cross-country skiing during day two of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
Aaron Pike of USA skis in the men's 15km sitting cross-country competition, at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center, on March 8, 2014. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
From left, Silver medalists Aleksandra Frantceva of Russia and guide Aleksandra Frantceva, gold medalists Kelly Gallagher of Great Britain and guide Charlotte Evans and bronze medalists Jade Etherington of Great Britain and guide Caroline Powell, during the flower ceremony for the Women's Super-G - Visually Impaired, on day three of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 10, 2014. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images) #
An overview of the arena during the wheelchair curling mixed round robin session 3 matches at the Ice Cube Curling Center, on March 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Harry Engels/Getty Images) #
Vesa Hellman of Finland competes during the wheelchair curling mixed round robin match between Finland and Slovakia at the Ice Cube Curling Center, on March 9, 2014. (Harry Engels/Getty Images) #
Canada's Braydon Luscombe skis during the Men's Downhill Standing training at the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 6, 2014. (Reuters/Christian Hartmann) #
Marek Kubiacka of Slovakia with his guide Natalia Karpisova after finishing in the Men's Super G Visually Impaired during day two of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 9, 2014. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images) #
Gold medalist Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany celebrates at the medal ceremony for the Women's Downhill Sitting during day one of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 8, 2014. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
Yurika Abe of Japan skis in the women's 15km standing cross-country event, on day three of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center, on March 10, 2014. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the downhill ski competition at the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service) #
Kurt Oatway of Canada makes a turn in the Men's Super G - sitting event at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, on March 8, 2014. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images) #
Tyler Walker of the USA falls during Men's Downhill Sitting at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in the Rosa Khutor stadium, on March 8, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Canadian fan watches the action during the Ice Sledge Hockey Preliminary Round Group A match between Canada and Norway at Shayba Arena, on March 9, 2014. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) #
Vasilii Varlakov celebrates scoring the 1st goal during the Ice Sledge Hockey Preliminary Round Group B match between Russia and Korea at Shayba Arena, on March 8, 2014. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) #
Haitao Du of China in action in the Men's 20km Standing event, on day three of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, on March 10, 2014. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images) #
Canada's Kirk Schornstein falls during Men's Downhill Standing at in the Rosa Khutor stadium, close to Sochi, on March 8, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images) #
Bronze medalist Aleksandr Davidovich of Russia celebrates after finishing the men's 15km sitting cross-country skiing at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center, on March 8, 2014. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) #
From left: Silver medalist Irek Zaripov of Russia, gold medalist Roman Petushkov of Russia and bronze medalist Aleksandr Davidovich of Russia celebrate after the men's 15km sitting cross-country skiing, on March 9, 2014. (Ian Walton/Getty Images) #
Japan's Takeshi Suzuki, on his way to win a bronze medal in the Men's Downhill Sitting event, on March 8, 2014. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images) #
Switzerland's Maurizio Nicoli in the men's sitting skiing Super G at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center, on March 9, 2014. (Reuters/Christian Hartmann) #
Taiki Morii of Japan competes in the Men's Super G - sitting during day two of the 2014 Winter Paralympics, March 8, 2014. (Ian Walton/Getty Images) #
Bronze medalist Stephanie Jallen of USA celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Women's Super-G - Standing during day three of the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, on March 10, 2014. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images) #

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