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Paralympics: Bigger than sport

Olympic Sports

The GIST: Nine days and 78 events later, the 2022 Winter Paralympics finished with yesterday’s Closing Ceremony, but the images of strength and resilience on display in Beijing will last well beyond the Games.

March 14, 2022
CARMEN MANDATO/GETTY IMAGES
CARMEN MANDATO/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Nine days and 78 events later, the 2022 Winter Paralympics finished with yesterday’s Closing Ceremony, but the images of strength and resilience on display in Beijing will last well beyond the Games.

🇨🇦 Team Canada: Finishing third overall in the medal count with 25, Canada rounded out their hardware by claiming bronze in the cross-country mixed relay and silver in men's ice sledge hockey on Saturday.

  • Most notably, cross-country skier Mark Arendz and 21-year-old cross-country skier Natalie Wilkie both walked away with four medals. Not too shabby, eh?

🇺🇦 Zooming out: It’s impossible to separate this global Paralympic competition from the global conflict taking place alongside it. The Games began just days after Russia began its unprovoked war on Ukraine, leading the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing.

  • Ukrainian athletes rallied on the world stage, finishing second with 29 medals — the most the nation has ever won at a Winter Paralympics.
  • As IPC president Andrew Parsons said in his closing remarks, “Differences here did not divide us…through this unity we have hope. Hopes for inclusion, hopes for harmony and, importantly, hopes for peace.”