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2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games opening ceremony

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The sporting world is back to Sochi on Friday for the Winter Paralympics opening ceremony.

Less than two weeks after the Winter Olympics ended, 547 athletes from 45 countries will compete for 72 gold medals in five sports over 10 days.

It is the largest number of countries to take part in the event since it was first held in 1976.

The sporting world is back to Sochi on Friday for the Winter Paralympics opening ceremony

The sporting world is back to Sochi on Friday for the Winter Paralympics opening ceremony

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 said they will snub the showpiece event following Russian intervention in Crimea, situated just 300 miles from Sochi.

Ukraine had contemplated a boycott of the event but on Friday, the Ukraine Paralympic Committee president Valeriy Suskevich confirmed that their 23-strong team would take part.

The opening ceremony at the Fisht Stadium gets underway at 8 p.m. local time with action due to get start on Saturday.

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