The 2022 Winter Paralympics officially got under way on Friday, the Games marked by the presence of the full Ukrainian delegation inside Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium at the Opening Ceremony.
All of Ukraine's Para athletes made it to the Chinese capital -- a feat described as a "miracle" by Valeriy Sushkevych, President of the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee,
And their participation in these Games was met with a show of support from Andrew Parsons, the president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Parsons gave a stern speech that asked for peace in the world and expressed his dismay at ongoing conflicts, though stopped short of mentioning Ukraine or Russia by name.
"Tonight, I want -- I must -- begin with a message of peace," Parsons said. "As the leader of an organization with inclusion at its core, where diversity is celebrated and differences embraced,
I am horrified at what is taking place in the world right now. The 21st century is a time for dialogue and diplomacy, not war and hate.
The Olympic Truce for peace during the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a UN resolution. It must be respected and observed, not violated.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has significantly impacted the world of sport, with numerous governing bodies imposing sanctions on Russia and its athletes.
The IPC soon followed suit and, the day before the Paralympic Games were set to begin, took the decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in Beijing.
Belarus remains a key military ally of Russia and is being used as a launch point for troops into Ukraine.
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