OLYMPICS

Paralympics close to end Asia’s run at center of world sport

Mar 13, 2022, 7:53 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:38 pm

A general view inside the stadium of the fireworks spelling '2022', marking an end to the Paralympi...

A general view inside the stadium of the fireworks spelling '2022', marking an end to the Paralympic Games during the Closing Ceremony on day nine of the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics at Beijing National Stadium on March 13, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

BEIJING (AP) — The president of the International Paralympic Committee expressed “hopes for peace” as the Winter Paralympics closed Sunday but avoided mentioning Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The closing ceremony marked the end of an almost six-week run for international sports in the Chinese capital that began with the opening of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4.

IPC President Andrew Parsons sounded a note of unity at the ceremony in the Olympic stadium after athletes from Russia and Belarus were expelled earlier.

“Differences here did not divide us,” Parsons said, speaking before an audience that included Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Through this unity we have hope. Hopes for inclusion, hopes for harmony and importantly hopes for peace,” Parsons said. “Humankind hopes to live in a world where dialogue prevails.”

The ceremony ended a run for Asia of hosting four of the last eight Olympics and Paralympics, starting with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It’s unclear when sports’ largest stage will return to Asia.

The next Summer Olympics and Paralympics are in 2024 in Paris, followed by Winter Games in Milan-Cortina, Italy in 2026, and Los Angeles in 2028 with the Summer Games.

The earliest return to Asia looks like the 2030 Winter Olympics with Sapporo, Japan, a top contender. It was the Winter Games host in 1972.

The Paralympics opened just eight days after Russia, aided by Belarus, invaded Ukraine.

The International Paralympic Committee, after declining to bar Russian and Belarusian athletes, reversed course and removed their 83 athletes — 71 from Russia and 12 from Belarus.

Ukraine, with only 20 athletes competing, finished second to China in the medal standings. Many overcame difficult journeys to make it and showed determination despite the war at home.

Parsons expressed horror at Russia’s attack on Ukraine in an impassioned speech at the Paralympics’ opening ceremony, with Xi attending.

Parts of Parsons’ speech were not translated by Chinese state TV and some of the audio was dropped. The IPC lodged a protest over what it said was likely censorship but was told the silence was caused by an unexplained glitch.

China has declined to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening of the Olympics on Feb. 4, one of the few major world leaders to attend with Xi also present.

The Winter Paralympics attracted just under 600 athletes, far fewer than the 2,900 who attended the Winter Olympics.

Both events were held under China’s severe COVID-19 restrictions, which required daily testing by athletes and others attending, with access limited to only hotels, venues and media centers.

—-

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

KSL 5 TV Live

Olympics

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James gestures after passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NB...

Tim Reynolds, AP Basketball Writer

LeBron James still committed to Paris Olympics, but health remains the big key

LeBron James still wants to participate in the Paris Olympics this summer, but an ongoing treatment plan for his left ankle has questions of possibility looming.

4 days ago

Utahns Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, former Brigham Young University teammates, are heading to Pa...

Erin Cox

6 Olympians celebrate 2 Utah runners, the first Americans to qualify for Paris Olympic Marathon

A group of some of the most accomplished people in the world came together, celebrating two Utahns who became the first Americans to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon.

10 days ago

Olympic medals are displayed during the unveiling of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Me...

John Leicester

The Paris Olympics medals are made with pieces of the Eiffel Tower

PARIS (AP) — An Olympic medal inlaid with a piece of the Eiffel Tower. How’s that for a monumental prize? A hexagonal, polished chunk of iron taken from the iconic landmark is being embedded in each gold, silver and bronze medal that will be hung around athletes’ necks at the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games and Paralympics that […]

15 days ago

The Olympic Spirit is strong in Springville where the community welcomed home its newest Olympian, ...

Shara Park

Springville welcomes home its newest Olympian marathon runner Clayton Young

The Olympic Spirit is strong in Springville where the community welcomed home its newest Olympian, marathon runner Clayton Young.

18 days ago

FILE - The Eiffel Tower stands illuminated after sunset on July 07, 2023 in Paris, France. Paris wi...

Helena Alves and John Leicester, Associated Press

Parisians vote to hit SUVs with eye-popping parking costs in latest green drive before Olympics

Parisians have voted to muscle SUVs off the French capital’s streets by making them much more expensive to park from this fall.

18 days ago

Utahns Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, former Brigham Young University teammates, are heading to Pa...

Brianna Chavez

Utahns, former college teammates punch ticket to Summer Olympics

Utahns Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, former Brigham Young University teammates, are heading to Paris this summer to participate in the Summer Olympics.

19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Paralympics close to end Asia’s run at center of world sport