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March 8, 2018

Let The Paralympics Begin!

Michael L. Sack
Photo credit: paralympic.org

A few weeks ago, we watched the United States win gold in women’s hockey, men’s curling, and Jessie Diggins’ comeback victory in the women’s cross-country team sprint event. Next up for Pyeongchang, South Korea, is the 13th edition of the Winter Paralympic Games, which will begin March 9 and come to a rousing conclusion March 18. Athletes from an estimated 42 countries will come together for a week of competition.

The Paralympics consist of participants with a variety of disabilities, mostly those with limb deficiencies and muscle impairments. Because of the athletes’ abilities, there are only six events that will take place: sled hockey, wheelchair curling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, biathlon, and snowboard.

Those sports will take place in the same venues as the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee transformed each arena to make them accessible to walkers and wheelchair users. The sled hockey tournament will be held at Gangneung Hockey Centre, where a small adjustment was made to put in transparent boards where team benches and the penalty box will be located. The boards will lower the benches so that the sleds can get to and from the ice. Likewise, the wheelchair curling competition is at the Gangneung Curling Centre. For the curling complex, crews made “special efforts” to accommodate wheelchair users.

To the topic everyone is wondering about. These Paralympic Games will have the most coverage since U.S. television started broadcasting them. During the 10 days of festivities, there will be more than 250 hours of events shown on NBC, NBCSN, and the NBC Sports App. The network that will show the Games most days is NBCSN, from 1-4 p.m. CT.

In an enhancement, the sled hockey gold medal game will be aired live March 17 at 10 p.m. CT on NBCSN and on the app. For those intrigued to see how wheelchair curling is played, your first opportunity will be March 10 at 9 p.m. CT on the cable network. NBC is realizing more and more fans across the United States want to see the Paralympics, and the TV schedule this go around is a great step forward. Here is the full Paralympic viewing guide.

It will be a fantastic week of athletics! Medals are to be won and records are to be broken! For you early risers, do not miss the Opening Ceremony that is going to be aired live on NBCSN this Friday at 5 a.m. CT. The Paralympic Winter Games should be the most watched ever, and you can get all the info you want through the Paralympic website. LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

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