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Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games kick off with Opening Ceremony

SOCHI, Russia – The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games are officially underway. The 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team marched in the Opening Ceremony at a packed Fisht Stadium Friday evening (March 7).

Approximately 700 athletes from 45 countries participated in the ceremony, marking the largest Paralympic Winter Games to-date.

U.S. flag bearer Jon Lujan (Littleton, Colo.), an alpine skier and retired Marine Corps Sergeant who was wounded serving in Iraq in 2003, led Team USA into the stadium.

“It's hard to put into words how I felt,” said Lujan. “The emotions that were going through my head knowing that I was waving the flag in front of thousands of people in the venue, and even more on the worldwide broadcast, brought me immense pride - pride in the country, pride in my teammates, and a sense of accomplishment of actually being a Paralympian.” More


Paralympic Preview

To learn more about what to expect in Sochi at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, including athletes to watch and sport information, click here.  



2010 Getty Images

Heart and Soule

Army veteran Andy Soule is the only U.S. athlete to have medaled in the sport of biathlon in a Paralympic or Olympic Games; he won bronze at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. He will compete on Saturday in the men’s 7.5km standing race, read more about him here


Let the Games begin!

Competition kicks off Saturday with downhill skiing at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center and middle-distance cross-country skiing at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center.

In the coastal cluster at Sochi Olympic Park, Team USA sled hockey will take on Italy in preliminary  competition at the Shayba Arena, while U.S. wheelchair curlers will face both Slovakia and Korea in round robin play at the Ice Cube Curling Center. 


COMPETITION SCHEDULE

Alpine skiing:
Location: Rosa Khutor Alpine Center
10 a.m. - Men's & Women's Downhill, all classes

Biathlon:
Location: Laura Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Center
10 a.m. - Women's 6k (sitting) 
10:25 a.m. - Men's 7.5k (sitting)
12:15 p.m. - Men's & 7.5k (standing)
1:45 p.m. - Men's 7.5k (visually impaired)

Sled hockey:
Location: Shayba Arena
16:30 - USA v. Italy, preliminary competition

Wheelchair curling:
Location: Ice Cube Curling Center
9:30 a.m. - USA v. Slovakia - Round Robin session one, sheet D
15:30 - USA v. Korea - Round Robin session two, sheet C

A detailed competition schedule can be found at sochi2014.com


TUNE-IN

As part of NBC’s 52 hours of Paralympic Winter Games coverage, Saturday’s alpine skiing competition will air live on NBCSN at 1 a.m. The Opening Ceremony will be re-broadcast on NBC at 1 p.m., and an hour of event recaps and highlights will air starting at 5:30 p.m. (all times ET). All events throughout the Games will also be live streamed on TeamUSA.org.

For additional coverage from Team USA, including feature stories, event recaps and athlete profiles, visit USParalympics.org. Other resources include the Team USA Media Guide, the Paralympic Team USA Daily and Team USA’s Breaking News email alerts.  


FOR THE MEDIA

Guide
The Team USA media guide is available in .pdf download on USParalympics.org.

Athlete headshots
U.S. Paralympic Team headshots are available for rights-free download (editorial use only) at Flickr.com/USOlympicTeam.

Breaking News
For up-to-the-minute updates on Team USA, subscribe to the U.S. Paralympics breaking news updates by submitting your email address here.

USA Daily
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