The 2018 Winter Paralympic Games will take place from March 9th to March 18th in PyongChang, South Korea. We’re one month away and Athletes Roll couldn’t be more excited! Leading up to the Games we’ll be previewing all of the sports that will be contested as well as exciting news coming out of PyeongChang.
This year’s Paralympics consist of six sports: Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Hockey (aka Sled Hockey), Snowboarding, and Wheelchair Curling. Each event will take place in the same stadiums and venues as their Olympic counterparts, all with close proximity to the main city. Hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics has been a long time coming for PyeongChang and South Korea. Their quest began all the way back in 2003 with a nearly successful bid for the 2010 Winter Games which was awarded to Vancouver. The same occurred in 2007 for the eventual Sochi 2014 Winter Games thus making PyeongChang the clear choice for 2018. PyeongChang 2018 brings the Games back to South Korea for the second time in Olympic/Paralympic history and the first since the 1988 Seoul Summer Games. It also starts a six-year stretch of all Asian events with the Summer 2020 Games and the 2022 Winter Games hosted by Tokyo and Beijing respectively.
In the past, the issue with the Paralympic Games wasn’t the intensity or excitement of the competition or the inspiration of the amazing athletes. The Paralympics immediately follow the Olympics where everyone is at peak excitement, but then when they go to watch, it was nowhere to be found. While the Olympics are thrown in your face at every turn, the Paralympics haven’t been given the same treatment. But the coverage has improved in recent years with major networks making it easier to watch. NBC boosted their Paralympic coverage in the United States for the 2014 Sochi and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games while Channel 4 in the UK has been putting Paralympic athletes in the spotlight for quite some time (and winning awards in the process).
While this was all a step in the right direction, we were waiting anxiously to see what this meant for PyeongChang 2018. With a clearly positive response to the Sochi and Rio broadcasts, NBC Olympics shocked even the most hopeful fans with their latest announcement. From Sochi 2014 the TV coverage has increased from 50 to 94 hours representing all six sports while the total coverage across all platforms increased to 250 hours. It seems certain the coverage will continue to improve here and abroad and the exciting competition will be just as patriotic and inspiring as the Olympics preceding it.
From March 9 – 18, hundreds of medals will be awarded in over eighty events. The official schedules haven’t been announced yet but Opening Ceremonies will be on the 9th and the first medals will be awarded on the 10th in Alpine Skiing and Biathlon! We’ll update soon with broadcast schedules and more information. Stay tuned here and on our social media pages for our individual sport previews and all of the excitement to come!