The final nine medals of a successful Paralympic Games will be awarded today, with one guarantee that Team USA will add to its medal haul before the flame is extinguished. If you’re looking for the “what to watch from Rio,” this is the place for the Games' final day. The action can be viewed live on TeamUSA.org and broadcast on NBC and NBCSN. Click here for a full viewing schedule. (All times below are ET.)
Sunday, Sept. 18
Four years. That’s how long the United States, having settled for bronze at the London Games after winning the Beijing tournament, has waited for another shot at gold. That chance comes today in the wheelchair rugby gold-medal game against the Australians (11:30 a.m.). Team USA advanced by way of a win over Canada on Saturday, a game in which two-time Paralympian Chuck Aoki was responsible for 34 points in a 60-55 win over its rival to the north. Overall, Aoki has scored 90 of his team’s 222 points in five consecutive wins.
For the incomparable Tatyana McFadden, these Rio Games have already meant a total of five medals, four of which are gold, with the event for which she is most well-known closing out Rio’s competition schedule. Adopted from St. Petersburg, Russia, at 6 years old, McFadden has become one of the most dominant athletes in the world. Since 2012, McFadden has won four Chicago marathons, four Boston marathons, four London marathons and three New York marathons.
The Paralympic women's marathon T54 begins this morning at 11:31 a.m. with a field that also includes Team USA’s Chelsea McClammer, Susannah Scaroni, Amanda McGrory and Shirley Reilly. McFadden enters with the second-best official personal best in the field, trailing only Japan’s Wakako Tsuchida, but Reilly and McGrory have recorded personal bests within three minutes of McFadden’s PB of 1:35:06.
So many of Team USA’s stories are powerful, and it was announced Saturday this week that Josh Brunais would symbolically represent all of them as the flag bearer in tonight’s Closing Ceremony (6:55 p.m.). His story, too, is powerful. Brunais, retired from the Army in 2015 due injuries from an IED explosion, received the Soldier’s Medal for pulling 14 men from a fire after a helicopter crash.
In Rio, Brunais played for Team USA’s 7-a-side soccer team, which finished with a tie, two losses and a win.
Broadcast Schedule (ET)
|NBCSN||12-5 a.m.||Swimming, Track and Field, Men’s Wheelchair Basketball medal rounds, Women’s Sitting Volleyball medal rounds|
|NBC||3-6 p.m.||Wheelchair Rugby medal rounds, Men's Sitting Volleyball medal rounds|
|NBCSN||10:30 p.m.||Closing Ceremony|
||8:20 a.m.-2:00 p.m.|
||7:50-9:30 a.m., 11:20 a.m.-1:30 p.m.|
|Closing Ceremony||6:55 p.m.-TBD|
|Highlight Show|| 9:00-9:05 p.m., 3:00-4:00 p.m., 10:00-11:00 p.m.