U.S. athlete reaction to Sochi 2014, Rio 2016 broadcast announcement

Sept. 24, 2013, 10 a.m. (ET)
Cortney Jordan
"I hope the coverage will cause other athletes with disabilities to get involved and also inspire people across the country," swimmer Cortney Jordan said after learning the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will receive over 100 hours of television coverage in the United States.

NEW YORK — The Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will receive an unprecedented 116 combined hours of coverage in the United States, the International Paralympic Committee announced today, as NBC Olympics and the United States Olympic Committee have partnered to acquire the U.S. media rights to the next two Paralympic Games. 

NBC and NBCSN will combine to air 50 hours of television coverage for March’s Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, starting on March 7 with the Opening Ceremony. It will be followed by daily coverage of all five Paralympic sports in the Sochi program, before the Games’ Closing Ceremony is broadcast on March 16.

In Sept. 2016, NBC and NBCSN will show 66 hours of coverage from the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, an increase of 60.5 hours from the coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The 2016 Games are set to be the biggest yet with more than 4,300 athletes competing in 22 sports, and aim to build on the success of London 2012 which were broadcast to a global cumulated audience of 3.8 billion in 115 countries.

In addition to the unprecedented U.S. television coverage, the USOC will provide live online coverage of both the Sochi and Rio Paralympic Games at TeamUSA.org

Reaction from U.S. athletes 

  • "I'm super stoked that NBC is going to cover the Paralympics. I know it's been a long hard battle to gain exposure for the Paralympic Movement in the United States but the power of positivity always perseveres. Thank you to everyone who supported this movement." - Keith Gabel, 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team hopeful in snowboarding
  • "This is incredible news. We put in so many hours of training to have a shot at competing in the Paralympic Games. Now, our families, friends and fellow Americans will have the opportunity to see exactly why we do this." - Lex Gillette, three-time U.S. Paralympian in track and field, 2013 world champion, 2016 hopeful
  • "I am delighted to hear about the improved coverage for the Paralympic Games in Sochi and Rio. We have some incredible athletes who will have amazing performances at these Games. I hope the coverage will cause other athletes with disabilities to get involved and also inspire people across the country." - Cortney Jordan, two-time U.S. Paralympian in swimming, 2013 world champion, 2016 hopeful
  • “This is super exciting. Honestly, exposure for our sport has been something that I have been working towards. I feel that having our events on TV and live online will expand our sport greatly. Once people get a chance to see it on TV, they’ll be curious and they’ll watch. People with disabilities around the country and the world will know they can be an athlete. It will change lives.” - Andrew Kurka, 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team hopeful in alpine skiing
  • "Live television coverage of the Paralympic Games is a huge step for the United States and it could not have come at a better time. I can remember as a young child watching television coverage of the Olympics and thinking how cool it was to literally be witnessing someone's dream come true on the worlds stage. I often think I may have gotten involved in racing much sooner had I been exposed to it in this way as a kid. Hopefully, people with disabilities will find a role model in Paralympic sport to follow through their journey at the Games and develop aspirations of their own to become a Paralympain someday. Well done NBC!" - Kelsey LeFevour, 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team hopeful in track and field
  • "I think it's great. Finally our families and friends will be able to watch us compete in the sport we love. They sacrifice so much to make Paralympic dreams come true but can't always make the trip to watch in person. They deserve to see hard work paying off and experience the Games as much as possible." - Greta Neimanas, 2012 U.S. Paralympian in cycling, 2013 world champion, 2016 hopeful
  • "The fact NBC is dedicating this much time to showcase the Paralympics shows how ready the USA is to meet some of the best athletes in the world and hear their incredible stories of inspiration, bringing to light the human potential in everyone. It's exciting to think about the future in U.S. athletics." - David Prince, 2012 U.S. Paralympian in track and field, 2016 hopeful
  • "National television can be used in many ways to influence the culture in our country. Finding out that the Paralympics will be televised is great news. Mainstream media now has the opportunity to change the nation's perception on disabilities. The stereotypes will be broken and people will see that we are capable of exceeding the boundaries of sport and blurring the line between disabled and able bodied competition." - Mike Shea, 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team hopeful in snowboarding
  • "This is so exciting. Thank you NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee for bringing what we do into the homes of Americans. All Paralympians are elite athletes and we work hard to represent our country for the games. Now everyone will have a chance to see how incredible Paralympic sport is. Go Team USA! My sight is on Sochi." - Danelle Umstead, 2010 U.S. Paralympian in alpine skiing, 2014 hopeful