Supporting Team USA in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games

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Sochi 2014 2

In late February, the United States Olympic Committee announced the 2014 Paralympic Team that will represent the U.S. for the Paralympic Winter Games.  The Winter Games will take place March 7th – March 16th in Sochi, Russia.

For Sochi 2014, we will have 80 athletes competing in the 5 events of the Games.  This is a large increase in athletes representing Team USA in comparison to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, which had 50 athletes competing for gold, silver, and bronze.  This group of 80 athletes is composed of 22 women and 58 men, and 6 of these individuals will act as guides for our athletes with visual impairments.  The growth in the number of athletes is due in part to the addition of a new sport for the Games:  snowboard cross.  10 athletes on Team USA’s roster will compete in this event.

These 80 athletes will compete in all 5 sports of the Paralympic Games:  alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, sled hockey, biathlon, and wheelchair curling.  There are 32 Paralympians returning (and determined) to win more medals; this group has already amassed 50 Paralympic medals in previous Winter Games.

There is something even more exciting about these Games:  more coverage will be made available on television and online.  Team USA will live stream all events from the Games on its website.  NBC Olympics announced that it will air 52 hours of Paralympic Games coverage for Sochi 2014 on NBC and NBCSN.  NBC Olympics will air all 5 sporting events on these two channels in an 11 days period.  NBCSN will broadcast 48 out of 52 total hours of coverage, as well as live coverage almost every day during the Games.  NBC will cover a rebroadcast of the Opening Ceremony, and air the live broadcast of the sled hockey final.

I know that I will be keeping a close eye on the medal count for Team USA, as well as how accommodating the Games are for people with disabilities, both the athletes and spectators.  Are you excited about the 2014 Paralympic Games?  What are your favorite Paralympic Games sports, and athletes to watch?  (Check out Ramp Your Voice!’s Sports & Disability pinboard to learn more about our Paralympic athletes, and what to look forward to in Sochi.)  Share your enthusiasm with me as we wish Team USA all the luck in bringing home the gold!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!  U.S.A.!

(Featured headline image:  Courtesy of Able Magazine.)

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