Head of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko and International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven made welcome speeches to participants and guests at the opening ceremony.
The XI Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Sochi from March 7 to 16. Over 1,600 athletes and team members from 45 nations will be participating, and 72 sets of medals will be awarded. For the first time, Russians will perform in all five Paralympic sports. The Russian national team has 69 athletes. Thirty-two of these athletes will be participating in the cross-country skiing and biathlon events, 12 in alpine skiing, three in wheelchair curling, and 17 in ice sledge hockey.