Sochi Paralympics Open Amid Political Backlash

World | March 7, 2014, Friday // 13:50| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Sochi Paralympics Open Amid Political Backlash Photo by BGNES.

Some 547 athletes from 45 countries will compete for 72 gold medals over 10 days in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi.

The Games, opened by Russian president Vladimir Putin, will begin amid an escalating political crisis in Ukraine.

A number of the world's politicians have decided to snub the event following Russian intervention in Crimea, situated just 300 miles from Sochi, the BBC reports.

Prime Minister David Cameron was criticized by International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven for saying that all his government ministers will stay away. Paralympics GB patron Prince Edward has also decided not to attend the event.

Ukraine had contemplated a boycott of the event but the Ukraine Paralympic Committee president Valeriy Suskevich confirmed that their team would take part, Friday, the BBC informs.

The White House has cancelled a presidential delegation to the Paralympic Games, as well.

Bulgaria will be represented by two athletes with visual impairment – Zhelyaz Kolev and Svetoslav Georgiev in cross-country skiing discipline.

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Tags: David Cameron, Ukraine, Crimea, Vladimir Putin, paralympics, Sochi, White House
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