Paralympic Winter Games
7-16 March

Sochi 2014 welcome ceremonies finishing up in village

All 45 countries are having their national flags raised in the Paralympic Village in the mountains. 06 Mar 2014
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New Zealand Sochi 2014 welcome ceremony

New Zealand's Sochi 2014 team is welcomed in the moutain village at Rosa Khutor.

ⒸGetty Images
By Sochi 2014

The first country to be welcomed to the Games was South Korea, whose flag was raised on Tuesday (4 March). The Russian delegation composed of 170 people, including 69 athletes, will be met on Thursday (6 March).

The official welcome ceremonies for the participating teams at Russia's first ever Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi have been taking place at the Paralympic Village in the mountains this week. In just three days, 45 national flags are being raised over the village, each representing a country taking part in the Games. The welcome ceremonies will come to a close on Thursday (6 March), once the final teams arrive.

The welcome ceremony traditionally begins with a flag-raising ceremony and is attended by the representatives of the National Paralympic Committees, as well as mayors and vice mayors of the Paralympic Villages.

Each ceremony is added with a vibrant cultural programme and includes a performance by the Paralympic Games mascots (Ray of Light and Snowflake) and dynamic vocal performances of the reality show of talents’ participants.

Representatives of the National Paralympic Committees can each already leave memorable inscriptions on the Paralympic Wall that will be officially opened on Thursday (6 March), and competitors, honoured guests and residents of the villages are given souvenirs - warm ear-flapped hats, branded with the Sochi 2014 patchwork quilt and the Paralympic symbol, the Agitos.

The first country to be welcomed to the Games was South Korea, whose flag was raised on Tuesday (4 March). The Russian delegation composed of 170 people, including 69 athletes, will be met on Thursday (6 March).