Stamford, Conn. – NBC Olympics and the United States Olympic Committee will present an unprecedented 52 hours of coverage of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games with 13 commentators, including seven veteran Olympic commentators and four Paralympians who have competed in 16 Paralympic Games, winning a combined total 45 medals (30 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze). The collective on-air and competition experience of NBC’s Paralympics talent roster totals 42 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Paralympians on Team NBC include: Chris Waddell, the most-decorated male skier in Paralympic history; 17-time Paralympic swimming medalist Jessica Long, who was the subject of the 20-minute feature Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story that aired during NBC’s Olympic coverage; 12-time Paralympic skiing gold medalist Sarah Will; and two-time Paralympic sled hockey medalist Kip St. Germaine. The career 45 Paralympic medals (30 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze) won by Team NBC would have led the medal count at the 2010 Paralympics, ahead of Russia (38) and Germany (24).
The Paralympic commentator roster includes the following Olympic veterans: Russ Thaler, who hosted Olympic Ice during the Sochi Games and regularly hosts NHL studio and MLS coverage;Carolyn Manno, who reported on freestyle skiing and is the co-host of SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports; five-time Olympic snowboarding play-by-play voice Todd Harris; Olympic biathlon play-by-play voice Steve Schlanger; analyst and 1998 Nagano Olympic biathlete Stacey Wooley; eight-time Olympic bobsled, luge and skeleton reporter Lewis Johnson; analyst and Olympic curling bronze medalist Pete Fenson; three-time Olympic play-by-play Jim Watson; and veteran Olympic hockey announcer Dave Strader.
The team will cover all five Paralympic winter sports – alpine skiing (which includes snowboarding), cross-country skiing, biathlon, wheelchair curling and sled hockey – across NBC, NBCSN and TeamUSA.org. For more information on NBC Olympics and the United States Olympic Committee’s coverage of the 2014 Paralympics, click here.
Rundown of NBC Paralympics' on-air team
NBCSN Hosts: Russ Thaler, who in addition to anchoring Olympic Ice during the Sochi Games, has hosted studio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Final and Playoffs, will co-host Paralympics’ weekday coverage on NBCSN. SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports co-host Carolyn Manno will anchor studio coverage the first weekend of the Paralympics.
Alpine skiing and snowboarding: Todd Harris, a five-time Olympic snowboarding play-by-play commentator and the voice of action sports on NBC and NBCSN, will call alpine skiing and snowboarding. Harris will be joined by analyst and 13-time Paralympic ski medalist Sarah Will, who was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.
Biathlon and cross-country skiing: Steve Schlanger, who called biathlon during the Sochi Olympics, will be the play-by-play voice for biathlon at the Paralympics alongside analyst and 1998 Olympic biathlete Stacey Wooley.
Wheelchair curling: Harris will also call wheelchair curling, including the gold medal final on Saturday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, alongside 2010 Olympic curling bronze medalistPete Fenson.
Sled hockey: Play-by-play voice Jim Watson joins NBC’s Paralympics coverage to call qualifying and semifinal sled hockey. Schlanger will also call sled hockey. Veteran NHL broadcaster Dave Strader will announce play-by-play for the sled hockey gold medal final on Saturday, March 15 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC. Watson, Schlanger and Strader will be joined by analyst and 2002 Paralympic sled hockey gold medalist Kip St. Germaine.
On-site reporters: Eight-time Olympic bobsled, luge and skeleton reporter Lewis Johnsonand Russian-born 12-time Paralympic swimming gold medalist Jessica Long will report from the venues in Sochi throughout the Paralympic Games. The feature Long Way Home, which aired during NBC’s Olympic coverage, chronicles the story of Long, a world-class swimmer, 17-time Paralympic medalist, and 21-year old American from a Baltimore suburb, who was born in Russia and adopted by American parents. The feature tracks Long’s journey from the States to Siberia – Baltimore to Bratsk – to meet her birth family. To watch Long Way Home, click here.
Opening Ceremony hosts: The Opening Ceremony will air live on Friday, March 7 at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Chris Waddell, who won 12 medals in sit-skiing over four Paralympic Winter Games and was inducted into the U.S. Paralympic Hall of Fame as well as the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, will host the Opening Ceremony live alongside Steve Schlanger.