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A huge icebreaker ship makes its way during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympics at the Fisht Olympic stadium in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dmitry Lovetsky, AP

Paralympics flame goes out amid Ukraine crisis

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • March 17, 2014 - 12:31 AM

The Paralympic flame was extinguished in Sunday night's closing ceremony in Sochi, Russia, just as voting ended in a referendum on whether neighboring Crimea should split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. Although Ukraine backed off from boycotting the Paralympics, the crisis afflicting their homeland remained on the minds of athletes competing in Russia. In protest, Ukrainian parathletes covered their medals during podium ceremonies.

"That is how we show our protest and disagreement that our country could be divided and part of it could be excluded from Ukraine," said Iuliia Batenkova, who won six medals in Sochi including one gold. "Crimea is my motherland, where I was born, and of course I worry about it. I want peace."

 

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