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June 29, 2014

Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships

Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

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Spain‘s men’s national goalball team arrived in Espoo, Finland Friday for the start of the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships. The team comes into the tournament with the goal of securing a medal, which would qualify them for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The team missed the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Head coach Francisco Monreal said, “The objective is to reach the medal round, and qualify directly for the 2016 Games, but we need to be realistic and not think game by game, we can get a surprise. […] The competition will be decided in one game, head or tails, where it doesn’t matter what happened before.((es))

Coming into the competition, the team was ranked eleventh in the world based on the IBSA Unofficial rankings published late last month, down one spot from the April rankings. The team is scheduled to play their first game against the ninth ranked United States men’s team on Monday morning, before playing twenty-first ranked Germany later in the afternoon. Their other scheduled competitors in pool play are top ranked Iran, third ranked Algeria, seventh ranked Finland, twelfth ranked Czech Republic and twentieth ranked Ukraine. The team needs to finish in the top four in their group to advance to the second round.

The team’s roster includes Jose Daniel Fernández, Cristian Santamaria, Félix Vargas, Roman Martínez, Jesús Santana, and Javier Serrato. They are led by head coach Monreal, with assistant coach Carles Estrany and physiotherapist José Bravo. The team is drawn from around the country, with Santana playing for a club in the Canary Islands, Serrato playing for Valencia, Fernández for Madrid area Chamartín, Santamaría for Cantabria, Vargas coming from Barcelona and Martínez from Aragón.

Absent from the 2012 Summer Paralympics, the last major international competition the team competed in was the 2010 Goalball World Championships in Sheffield, England where the team finished fifth. In last year’s IBSA European Goalball Championships in Turkey, the team finished second, behind World Championship hosts and Paralympic gold medalists Finland.

Goalball was created in 1946, exclusively for people with a visual disability and designed to help with the rehabilitation of veterans returning from World War II. Play in the Paralympics consists of two twelve-minute periods, with a three minute break between halves. Players are blindfolded to ensure all are equally visually handicapped on-court, and the game can be stopped to ensure goggles are properly fitted. Standing in front of a long goal, they throw the ball at the opposition team’s net who in turn try to block it by listening to the ball, which contains a bell, and using their bodies to prevent the ball from going in. The audience is asked to remain silent during play.



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June 27, 2014

Russians continue to top podium on third day of European Deaf Swimming Championships

Russians continue to top podium on third day of European Deaf Swimming Championships

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Friday, June 27, 2014

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The second day of swimming at the European Deaf Swimming Championships
Image: Federación Española de Deportes para Sordos.

With day three of the European Deaf Swimming Championships wrapped up on Wednesday in Saransk, Russia, the host nation continues to lead in total number of gold medals awarded.

Russian men swept the podium in the men’s 50m butterfly with Ilya Trishkin taking home gold and besting the previous European Championship Record with a time of 25.62. Fellow Russian Vitaliy Obotin finished first in the men’s 200m medley, setting a new European record in the process and beating out the next closest swimmer in today’s competition, Trishkin, by almost 5 seconds. Eleonora Brykanova won a gold in the women’s 100m freestyle. Martin Fomin finished first in the men’s 200m breaststroke, with a European Championship Record time of 2:24.27. Russian swimmers claimed half the total gold medals awarded on the day, and half the total of all medals awarded.

The remaining gold medals were distributed amongst four other countries. Ukraine’s Anna Tovsta won gold in the women’s 800m freestyle. Poland’s Artur Pioro finished first in the men’s 400m freestyle. Great Britain’s Danielle Joyce captured gold in the women’s 200m backstroke with a world record time of 2:25.38. Belarus’s Aksana Petrushenka finished first in the women’s 100m breaststroke. During the preliminary race, she set a new European Championship Record with a time of 1:15.33 before going on to better that time in the final with a time of 1:13.23.

Overall, Ukraine climbed one place over Germany in the overall medal rankings, having won four total medals on Wednesday. Poland and Great Britain also went up one spot each. Germany fell to sixth place, having won only one silver medal on the day. Swimmers from Greece, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Spain and Turkey failed to win any medals.

Yesterday was an off day for swimming, and competition had continued today.

Total medals after day three of competition
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Russia 15 13 10 38
2 Belarus 6 1 2 9
3 Ukraine 1 5 7 13
4 Poland 1 3 3 7
5 Great Britain 1 2 3 6
6 Germany 1 1 0 2
7 Greece 0 0 0 0
7 Latvia 0 0 0 0
7 Netherlands 0 0 0 0
7 Portugal 0 0 0 0
7 Republic of Macedonia 0 0 0 0
7 Spain 0 0 0 0
7 Turkey 0 0 0 0



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  • “Russians top podium on second day of European Deaf Swimming Championships” — Wikinews, June 25, 2014

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June 26, 2014

Belgian men\’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships

Belgian men’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Belgian national team selfie the day they departed for the World Championship. Pictured are Klison Mapreni, Tom Vanhove and Youssef Bihi
Image: Klison Mapreni.

This morning European time, the Belgium men’s national goalball team departed for Espoo, Finland for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships. The championship is the biggest competition since the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

The team is scheduled to play their opening game on the morning of June 30 against Brazil men’s national goalball team. They are scheduled to play their second game of pool play against Turkey men’s national goalball team later that afternoon. Their remaining games in pool play are against Canada, Lithuania, Egypt, China and Japan.

The members of the team are Bruno Vanhove, Tom Vanhove, Klison Mapreni, Youssef Bihi, Wassime Amnir and Glenn Van Thournout. They are coached by Jean Claude Meulemans and Werner Van Thournout. 30-year-old teammates Bruno and Tom Vanhove are sextuplet brothers, who have been part of the national goalball program for about ten years. Three of the sextuplets, including Bruno and Tom, are visually impaired. When playing, Bruno can throw the ball at speeds of up to 60 km/hour, while Tom can throw the ball at just under 55 km/hour.

Last month, with all but one of the same roster scheduled to compete at the World Championships, the national team competed at the Belgian-hosted Parantee Paralympic Championships. They lost to Algeria 7–11, defeated Russia 11–5, lost to the United States 3–13, defeated the Netherlands 10–5, narrowly lost to Finland 5–6, and lost to Lithuania 6–13.

Goalball was created in 1946, exclusively for people with a visual disability and designed to help with the rehabilitation of veterans returning from World War II. Play in the Paralympics consists of two twelve-minute periods, with a three minute break between halves. Players are blindfolded to ensure all are equally visually handicapped on-court, and the game can be stopped to ensure goggles are properly fitted. Standing in front of a long goal, they throw the ball at the opposition team’s net who in turn try to block it by listening to the ball, which contains a bell, and using their bodies to prevent the ball from going in. The audience is asked to remain silent during play.



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June 25, 2014

Russians top podium on second day of European Deaf Swimming Championships

Russians top podium on second day of European Deaf Swimming Championships

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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The second day of swimming at the European Deaf Swimming Championships
Image: Federación Española de Deportes para Sordos.

With the second day of swimming yesterday at the European Deaf Swimming Championships in Saransk, Russia, Russia won five of the seven gold medals awarded on the day.

Vladislav Vasin won the men’s 50 meter freestyle. Igor Zhuravlev came in first in the men’s 100 meter backstroke. Vitaly Obotin finished first in the men’s 400 meter medley. Ekaterina Savchenko won gold in the women’s 200 meter butterfly. Leonid Grishin, Stepan Klimenko, Miron Denisov and Vitaly Obotin came in first in the men’s 4 x 200m freestyle.

Rounding out the day’s first place finishes, Belarussian Aksana Petrushenka won the women’s 50 meter freestyle, and Maryia Rudzko, Katsiaryna Eramtsova, Aksana Petrushenka and Anastasiya Filipchyk in the women’s 4 x 100 meter medley.

Several records were broken on the day. During a preliminary, Russian Obotin set a new European Deaf Swimming Championships record in the the 400 meter medley event, breaking German Bjorn Koch’s record set at the 2010 Dortmund, Germany hosted championship. Obotin’s time was 9 seconds slower than his European record holding time of 4:34.49, which he set in Sofia, Bulgaria last year. In the final, Obotin broke his European record with a time of 4:33.66. Vasin matched the European Championship Record in the men’s 50 meter freestyle final, with a time of 24.35, equaling Greek George Dontas’s record set at the 2002 championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Russian Ekaterina Savchenko set a European Championship Record in the women’s 200 meter butterfly, with a time of 2:27.90, bettering her own European Championship Record set in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2006. The Russian team of Leonid Grishin, Stepan Klimenko, Miron Denisov and Vitaliy Obotin set a European Championship record in the men’s 4 x 200m freestyle, beating the record set at the 2010 Dortmund hosted championship. The Belorussian team of Maryia Rudzko, Katsiaryna Eramtsova, Aksana Petrushenka and Anastasiya Filipchyk set a world record in the women’s 4 x 200m medley, beating the record set by Belarus in 2009 in Taipei.

After two full days of swimming, Russia led the competition’s overall medal count with 26 medals, 11 of which were gold. Belarus was second, with 6 total medals, 5 of which were gold. Germany was third, with just one medal, which was gold.

Total medals after day two of competition
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Russia 11 9 6 26
2 Belarus 5 0 1 6
3 Germany 1 0 0 1
4 Ukraine 0 4 5 9
5 Poland 0 3 2 5
6 Great Britain 0 1 3 4
7 Greece 0 0 0 0
7 Latvia 0 0 0 0
7 Netherlands 0 0 0 0
7 Portugal 0 0 0 0
7 Republic of Macedonia 0 0 0 0
7 Spain 0 0 0 0
7 Turkey 0 0 0 0



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Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships

Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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Animoto at last year’s Asia-Oceania championship
Image: Matthew Wells.

With five days of competition complete as of last night, Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at the Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship taking place in Toronto, Canada. She scored 122 total points, 7 more than the second highest leading scorer, Canadian Janet McLachlan.

The 4.5 point player Amimoto, who plays club basketball in Australia, led her team in scoring with 18 in their opener against Canada, which they lost 83–53. In her team’s 61–55 loss to China, she again led her team in scoring with 22 points. In her third game in pool play, a 48–62 loss to Great Britain, she again led her team in scoring with 25 points. In her team’s only win in pool play, she scored 37 points against Brazil in a game they won 63–52. In the final game of pool play, she scored 20 points, leading her team in scoring in their 82–49 loss to Germany.

Amimoto matched up against British player Helen Freeman, another leading scorer in the tournament, in her game against Great Britain. Freeman held back Amimoto’s game after Japan took a very an early lead 4–2.

On her personal blog, Amimoto thanked people for their continued support((jp)) and said she was excited to be playing in the ninth place match against Mexico, and it is a game she really wants to win.((jp))

Overall in the competition, 126 players have scored at least two total points. Canada is the only nation with more than one player amongst the top ten scorers. Their second leading scorer is Katie Harnock, with 75 points so far. Other players in the top ten include USA player Rebecca Murray with 105 points, Dutch Mariska Beijer with 101 points, Chinese player Yong Qing Fu with 99 points, Mexican player Floralia Estrada with 96 points, British player Helen Freeman with 89 points, German player Marina Mohnen with 88 points, and French player Angelique Pichon with 76 points.

Round robin play concluded yesterday, with France, Germany, China, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States all having qualified to play in quarter-final matches scheduled for tomorrow. Japan was scheduled to play Mexico for ninth place, and Brazil was scheduled to play Peru for eleventh place.



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March 10, 2014

Ukraine\’s Lyudmyla Pavlenko wins gold in 2014 Winter Paralympics

Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Pavlenko wins gold in 2014 Winter Paralympics

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Yesterday at the Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Center at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, Ukrainian Lyudmyla Pavlenko won gold in the women’s 12km sitting race. United States skier Oksana Masters won silver, and Russia’s Svetlana Konovalova won bronze. Other United States skiers in the race included Tatyana McFaddenn who finished fifth, Monica Bascio who finish seventh, and Beth Requist who finished sixteenth.

Russia swept the podium in the men’s 15km sitting event held earlier in the day, with Roman Petuschkov winning gold, Irek Zaripov silver and Aleksandr Davidovich bronze. Ukraine’s Maksym Yarovyi finished just out of medal standing fourth place. United States skiers in the race included Andrew Soule who finished fifth, Sean Halstead who finished ninth, Aaron Pike who finished twelfth, Daniel Cnossen who finished thirteenth, Augusto Jose Perez who finished seventeenth and Bryan Price who finished nineteenth.

Sochi XCountry 18.jpg Winners of the women’s sitting 12km cross country at the flower ceremony.
Image: Laura Hale.

Sochi XCountry 2.jpg Poland’s Kamil Rosiek starts the men’s race.
Image: Laura Hale.

Sochi XCountry 3.jpg Aleksandr Davidovich of Russia starts the men’s race.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 4.jpg The United States’s Daniel Cnossen starts the men’s race.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 5.jpg A men’s skier finished the race.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 6.jpg Ukraine’s Mykhaylo Tkachenko finishes the men’s race in tenth place.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 7.jpg Italy’s Roland Ruepp finished the men’s race in sixteenth place.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 1.jpg Italy’s Giordana Tomasoni starts the men’s race
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 8.jpg The result’s for the men’s race are shown on the big screen.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 9.jpg The start list for the women’s race are shown on the big screen.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 10.jpg Belarus’s Lludmila Vauchok starts the women’s race.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 11.jpg A view of the mountain against the backdrop of part of the race course.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 12.jpg A woman skier on the course.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 13.jpg The United States’s Oksana Masters crossing the finish line in second place.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 14.jpg Norway’s Birgit Skarstein finishing the race in twelfth place.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 15.jpg The United States’s Beth Requist finishing last and in sixteenth place. The race had seventeen skiers. Andrea Eskau of Germany started the race but did not finish.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 16.jpg Italy’s Francesca Porcellato finishes tenth.
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi XCountry 17.jpg The results of the women’s race.
Image: Laura Hale.



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Wheelchair curling enters third day at 2014 Winter Paralympics

Wheelchair curling enters third day at 2014 Winter Paralympics

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Monday, March 10, 2014

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Wheelchair curling continued today at the Ice Cube Curling Center at the 2014 Winter Paralympics on difficult playing conditions as a result of the warm temperature outside. In the morning session, the South Korea lost to Russia in the eighth end by a score of 5–7, the United States lost to Canada 2–7 in seven ends, Norway edged out Finland 6–8 in extra ends, and China defeated Sweden 8–4 in seven ends.

At the conclusion of the morning session, round robin standing had Canada in first with 4 wins; Slovakia in second with 3 wins; Russia in third with 3 wins and 1 loss; Great Britain in fourth with 2 wins and 1 loss; China and Norway in fifth with 2 wins and 2 losses; South Korea, Sweden, and the United States in seventh place with 1 win and 3 losses; and Finland last with 4 losses.

Finland and Norway were evenly matched, going point for point in the first pair of ends, trading 2 points each in the next pair of ends, then Norway scored 2 points and 1 point in the next ends with Finland answering back. Tied after eight ends, they went to extra ends which Norway won with 2 points.

Outpacing other curlers on the ice, United States looked like they might be able to come back to tie things after their second end against Canada, and then only being down one after the fourth end, but Canada went on to score points in the next three ends.

While Sweden won three of the seven ends they played against China, they were unable to beat the Chinese team who scored 2 points in two ends and 3 points in another end. In the fourth end, the 3 points came after a precision takeout by the Chinese skip Wang Haitao that cleared two Swedish stones off the sheet.

With the crowd behind them the entire match, Russia came from behind after the first end and third end to tie things up in the fifth end and take the lead. They allowed the South Koreans to score two points in the seventh end to force an eighth end. Russian skip Andrei Smirnov cleared a South Korean stone sitting in front of three Russian stones off the sheet that gave the Russians a two point lead.

The United States has not medaled at the past two Paraympic Games, with their best finish a fourth at the 2010 Games. Of the United States’s curling team, two are returning wheelchair curling Paralympic veterans. James Joseph, the second, competed at the 2006 Winter Paralympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics. The skip and Madison, Wisconsin native, Patrick McDonald, competed at the 2010 Games. Penny Greely, the lead, competed in sitting volleyball at the 2004 Summer Paralympics where she won a bronze medal. David Palmer, the third, is competing at his first games after having a fourth place finish at the 2013 World Championships in Russia and a fifth place finish at the 2012 World Championships in South Korea. Alternate and Cape Cod native Meghan Lino is also at her first Paralympic Games after taking up the sport in 2009.

Sweden’s team has three team members who competed at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada: Jalle Jungnell, Glenn Ikonen, and Patrik Kallin. 60 year old Jungnell has the team’s most Paralympic experience, having competed at the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Summer Paralympics in wheelchair basketball, as well as competing at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Paralympics in wheelchair curling. Finnish born Ikonen had been suspended for six months following the Vancouver Games following a positive doping test. He claimed metroprolol was a drug he had been using for 4 or 5 years, and was unhappy that his doctor prescribed the blood pressure reducing drug because he would not have intentionally taken a banned substance.

The 2014 Games are the first Paralympics for Russia’s wheelchair curling team. Alternate Oksana Slesarenko from Yekaterinburg and skip Andrei Smirnov also from Yekaterinburg have the most experience on the team, both having taken up the sport in 2003, and competing at the 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013 World Championships.

Team Canada includes all five members of their 2013 World Championship winning team, including 63-year-old skip Jim Armstrong, 51-year-old Dennis John Thiessen, 52-year-old Ina Forrest, 47-year-old Sonja Gaudet, and 37-year-old Mark Ideson. Gaudet is the only wheelchair curling Paralympian with two gold medals, having won them in 2006 and 2010. Teammates Armstrong and Thiessen were part of the 2010 gold medal winning team. Gaudet also has gold medals from the 2009, 2011, and 2013 World Championships. While Armstrong was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1990 for his accomplishments in able bodied curling, Gaudet was the first wheelchair-only curler to be inducted when she was part of the 2013 class.

South Korea has two returning 2010 Games silver medalists, Kang Mi-Suk and Kim Myung-Jin. Both originally played other sports before taking up curling. Kang played table tennis and Kim played wheelchair basketball.

On Saturday, Russia beat China 5–4, South Korea lost to Norway 0–10, Canada beat Great Britain 6–3, and Slovakia defeated the United States 6–4 in the morning session. Sweden beat Finland 7–6, Canada beat Russia 5–4, the United States lost to South Korea 5–9, and Norway lost to China 3–7. In the morning session yesterday, the United States defeated Norway 8–5, Sweden lost to Great Britain by a score of 4–6, China lost to Slovakia 3–8, and Finland lost to Russia 4–7. In the afternoon session yesterday, Canada defeated Sweden 7–4, Finland lost to Slovakia 6–9, and Great Britain beat South Korea by a score of 8–4.

Unlike able-bodied curling, players release the stone from a stationary position and there is no sweeping. Another curler often sits behind the stone thrower to hold their chair in place while they execute their throw. Unlike a number of other Paralympic sports, there is only one classification in wheelchair curling and a variety of lower body disabilities compete in the sport. South Koreans Kim Myung-Jin and Kim Jong-Pan, Swede Kristina Ulander, Team USA’s Meghan Lino, Patrick McDonald, and David Palmer, and Russians Alexander Shevchenko, Svetlana Pakhomova, Oksana Slesarenko, Andrei Smirnov, and Marat Romanov have spinal cord injuries. Canadian Jim Armstrong has injured knees. Canadian Ina Forrest lost her leg in a farming accident. Team USA’s James Joseph has a limb deficiency.

Sochi Wheelchair Curling 3.jpg Team USA confers on a shot
Image: Laura Hale.

Sochi Wheelchair Curling 4.jpg The Russian team confers on a shot
Image: Laura Hale.

Sochi Wheelchair Curling 5.jpg Finland and Norway congratulate eachother following the conclusion of their game
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi Wheelchair Curling 1.jpg Team USA fans watching the matches
Image: Laura Hale.
Sochi Wheelchair Curling 2.jpg Bagpipers playing before the start of wheelchair curling
Image: Laura Hale.



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March 8, 2014

Winter Paralympics Opening Ceremony takes place in Sochi

Winter Paralympics Opening Ceremony takes place in Sochi

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The 2014 Winter Paralympics officially opened last night in Sochi, Russia. The ceremony was attended by Russian Federation leader Vladmir Putin. 45 nations are competing, including Argentina, Kazakhstan, the United States, Mexico, Armenia, Brazil, Ukraine, and Russia. During the speech about values to be upheld during the Games, sexual orientation was mentioned. There were no direct mentions of the situation in the Crimea region of Ukraine, whose 31-athlete-strong delegation participated in the parade of nations with only their flag bearer. During a press conference earlier yesterday, the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee President said the team had two or three options they were considering for the Opening Ceremony.

2014 Opening 1.jpg The United States team enters the arena.
Image: Laura Hale.

2014 Opening 2.jpg Ukraine’s flag bearer enters the arena to a loud roar.
Image: Laura Hale.

2014 Opening 3.jpg Ukraine’s flag bearer enters the arena to a loud roar.
Image: Laura Hale.
2014 Opening 4.jpg The Argentinian and Kazakhstani delegations watch the opening ceremony following the parade of nations.
Image: Laura Hale.
2014 Opening 5.jpg Valdmir Putin welcomes the athletes.
Image: Laura Hale.
2014 Opening 6.jpg The Paralympic flag enters the arena.
Image: Laura Hale.
2014 Opening 7.jpg The Paralympic flag is raised and the show continues.
Image: Laura Hale.



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Norway beats Czech Republic in sledge hockey overtime win in first match at Winter Paralympics

Norway beats Czech Republic in sledge hockey overtime win in first match at Winter Paralympics

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 In the first sledge hockey game of the 2014 Winter Paralympics held earlier today at Shayba Arena at Sochi‘s Coastal Village Olympic Park, Norway defeated the Czech Republic 2–1 in a shootout win. Norway’s Audun Bakke scored the team’s only goal in regulation time during the second period. The Czech Republic’s Michal Geier scored the equalizer in the third period. Norway scored the only overtime shootout goal.

These Games are only the second ones that the Czech sledge hockey team have participated in, making their debut at the 2010 Winter Paralympics. In contrast, Norway has medalled at every Paralympic Games since the sport was added as a medal sport to the Paralympic program at the 1994 Winter Paralympics. They are the only country to have this accomplishment.

Norway is next scheduled to play Canada tomorrow, and then Sweden on March 11 to complete their games in group play. The Czech Republic is scheduled to play Sweden tomorrow and conclude group play against Canada on March 11.

CZE v NOR 1.jpg The Czech goalkeeper following a shot by the Norwegian team in overtime.
Image: Laura Hale.

CZE v NOR 2.jpg A puck at center ice waiting for a Norwegian player to take it to shoot during the overtime shootout.
Image: Laura Hale.

CZE v NOR 3.jpg The Norwegian team celebrating in front of their net.
Image: Laura Hale.
CZE v NOR 4.jpg Czech fans in the stands.
Image: Laura Hale.
CZE v NOR 5.jpg Norway at center ice saluting the fans following their win.
Image: Laura Hale.



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Canada routs Sweden in sledge hockey at Winter Paralympics

Canada routs Sweden in sledge hockey at Winter Paralympics

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sweden’s starting goalie watches the third period from the bench
Image: Laura Hale.

Earlier today, in the second game of sledge hockey play at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, top-seeded Canada routed Sweden by a score of 10–1. Anthony Gale, Adam Dickson, and Dominic Larocque led their team in scoring with two goals a piece.

Canada dominated possession in the first period, and ended with four goals on eleven shots. With the puck rarely in the Canadian third, Sweden managed only one shot on goal in the first. Billy Bridges scored first for Canada, with Ben Delaney scoring Canada’s second, Adam Gale scoring Canada’s third and Dominic Larocque scoring Canada’s fourth goal in the first period.

Sweden came out with more energy in the second period, managing to get the puck more into the Canadian third of the rink but finished the period with only two shots on goal. Canada on the other hand managed to get eleven shots on goal in the second period, scoring three times.

Kenth Jonsson came into goal to start the third period for Sweden, with Ulf Nilsson leaving. The third period involved a lot of Canadian puck possession in the Swedish third. When Sweden was able to make a run down the ice with the puck, the crowds cheered loudly. Despite the puck possession issues, Sweden scored first in the third with a goal by Per Kasperi off an assist from Niklas Ingvarsson and Niklas Rakos with around 9:38 left in the third period.

Five minutes left, Canada went on to score a quick succession of goals, the first coming with 4:48 left in the third and during a power play. Adam Dickson scored with an assist from Brad Bowden and Kevin Rempel. Twenty seconds later, Dominic Larocque scored with an assist from Rempel. With 3:30 left in the game, Canada went up 10–1 with a goal scored by Anthony Gale. The Canadian fans were on their feet and waving their flags. Neither team was able to score in the remaining time.

Canada had a much deeper bench than Sweden, and were able to execute multiple complete line changes. In contest, Sweden had only three available players on their bench, with line changes consisting of changing only one player. Canada’s official roster has 15 players and 2 goalkeepers, while Sweden’s has 12 and 2 goalkeepers.

Canada finished fourth at the 2010 Winter Paralympics, a contest played on home soil, with eight members of their current seventeen member roster returning to compete in the 2014 Games. Despite the depth of experience for Canada, they were a younger squad than Sweden with an average age of 26 to Sweden’s 33.

In sledge hockey, players use two hockey sticks, one in each hand. One end of the hockey stick is very hard and used to propel the player down the ice. The other side looks like a smaller version of a traditional ice hockey stick and is used to hit the puck. Players compete while sitting in a sledge, which has two blades at the back that can be no longer than a third of the length of the sledge. The height of the sledge off the ice is high enough that the puck may pass under it.

Canada V Sweden 1.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.

Canada V Sweden 2.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.

Canada V Sweden 3.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 4.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 5.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 6.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.
Canada V Sweden 7.jpg
Image: Laura Hale.



Sources

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