ALSO READRussia to field 30-35 athletes in Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics Ticket sales for PyeongChang Paralympics surpass 70 per cent Seoul, Pyongyang discuss N.Korea's participation in Paralympic Games PyeongChang to host largest Winter Paralympics next month Russia suspended from Paralympics, some athletes exempt
The NPA refers to Russian para-athletes in PyeongChang as Russians were banned from competing under its national flag for the alleged state-sponsored doping scandal. During the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February, Russian athletes were allowed under the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) banner.
The US team, the biggest at the Winter Paralympics with 69 athletes, was at the head with unexpected victories of the biathlon combining skiing and shooting. The U.S. duo of Daniel Cnossen and Kendall Gretsch, which had never won a race before, both claimed gold in the sitting event.
"It's my first Paralympics, first race, so it's just a great way to kick off the week and hopefully there is more to come," Gretsch said.
Cnossen, a former U.S Navy Seal, came first in the men's sit ski. The silver went to Dzmitry Loban, the husband and coach of Hrafeyeva, making it a double success for Belarus and the family. Collin Cameron of Canada took bronze, which was also unpredicted.
All of the NPA's gold medals came from biathlon: Ekaterina Rumyantseva taking gold in the women's standing and Mikhalina Lysova winning the women's 6km vision impaired event.
All the six gold medal winners in the alpine skiing event came from different countries. Slovakia's Henrieta Farkasova won the first gold medal of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics in the women's vision impaired downhill event.
The opening competition day offered a couple of surprises to the host country.
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