Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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."
Here are some images from the Paralympics games:
Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo