Google's March 9, 2018 Doodle commemorates the start of the Pyeongchang Paralympics.
Google Doodle
By Laignee Barron
Updated: March 9, 2018 12:24 AM ET

Friday’s Google Doodle celebrates the opening of the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang.

This year’s competition is the biggest winter Paralympics to date, with more athletes and countries participating than ever before. More than 560 athletes will vie for more than 80 medals in six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, Para ice hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

Three countries will be making their first Winter Paralympics appearance in South Korea. North Korea and Georgia are sending two athletes each, while Tajikistan has entered their first athlete.

The U.S. is sending the largest delegation of 68 athletes, with Canada sending 52. As with the Olympic Games, Russia’s athletes will again be competing as part of a neutral delegation, called the Neutral Paralympic Athletes, after a doping scandal resulted in Russia’s disqualification from both the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics.

Keiichi Sato of Japan in action during a Biathlon training session ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games on March 8, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Naomi Baker—Getty Images

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About the PyeongChang Paralympics

The Winter Paralympics have been held since 1976, when the Games debuted in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

Google’s colorful Doodle depicts a line-up of athletes racing in all six qualifying sports.

The Paralympics will run from March 9-18 this year.

Write to Laignee Barron at Laignee.Barron@timeinc.com.

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