V. Veal

V. Veal

Vinson Veal, Sports Editor

The Paralympics finally concluded a few days ago. There was a total of 567 athletes that competed. That is the most athletes that have ever competed at the Paralympics. The games were concluded with a wonderful closing ceremony. Bandabi, the asian black bear mascot of the games, opened up the closing ceremony with dancing and a countdown. There was a lovely performance that consisted of dance with a mix of traditional and modern South Korean folk music. Next came the parade of flags. There was a total of 48 nations competed plus the Neutral Paralympic Athletes that competed under the Paralympic flag. Immediately after the parade of flags, the many volunteers of the games were recognized. The games would not have happened if these volunteers weren’t there because they were running around behind the scenes to make sure everything was perfect. Two athletes, Adam Hall and Sini Pyy, were then presented with the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award. Later, a spectacle of dance was performed that would transition the time from winter to spring, a nod to the next Paralympic games in Tokyo in 2020. Many people enjoyed the blind pianist, Yeaji Kim. She performed with her trust service dog by her side. The entire dance performance of dance and singing could only be described as majestic. The ceremony was then handed off to Beijing who will host the winter games in 2022. The President of the International Paralympic Committee gave a wonderful speech that even honored the late Stephen Hawking. The Paralympic flame was then extinguished and the ceremony turned into a party with many K-Pop stars that concluded the ceremony.

Overall, every athlete and every nation did really well at the Paralympics. The U.S. was first in the medal count with a total of 36 (13 gold, 15 silver, 8 bronze). The Neutral Paralympic Athletes came in second with a total of 24 (8 gold, 10 silver, 6 bronze). Canada also made the top three with a total of 28 (8 gold, 4 silver, 16 bronze). Don’t be sad that the games are over because they are coming again in two years in Tokyo.