The president of the International Paralympic Committee expressed “hopes for peace” as the Winter Paralympics closed Sunday but avoided mentioning Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The closing ceremony marked the end of an almost six-week run for international sports in the Chinese capital that began with the opening of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4.

IPC President Andrew Parsons sounded a note of unity at the ceremony in the Olympic stadium after athletes from Russia and Belarus were expelled earlier.

“Differences here did not divide us,” Parsons said, speaking before an audience that included Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Through this unity we have hope. Hopes for inclusion, hopes for harmony and importantly hopes for peace,” Parsons said. “Humankind hopes to live in a world where dialogue prevails.”

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