Brenna Huckaby competes during the women's banked slalom SB-LL1 at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on March 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
The Olympic Flame has been extinguished, and the Olympic Winter Games won’t be back for another four years.
But for those not quite ready to say goodbye to winter sports, you’re in luck: less than a fortnight remains until the start of the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
If you enjoyed the Olympics but are new to the Paralympics, here are some tips for finding your niche once the Games begin next week.
If you enjoyed...
...Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner carving their way to snowboardcross gold, then don’t miss Brenna Huckaby and Mike Schultz defending their snowboarding gold medals.
For Jacobellis, the Beijing Games were a breakthrough. Competing in her fifth Olympic Games, she won a long-awaited first gold medal in women’s snowboardcross, and then won the brand-new mixed team event with Baumgartner, who claimed his first Olympic medal at the age of 40. The challenge for Huckaby and Schultz will be different; they have the difficult task of maintaining their places atop the podium. The late Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands is the only Para snowboarder to repeat as a gold medalist at the Games.
...the U.S. women’s hockey team battling Canada, then don’t miss the rivalry between the U.S. and Canada in sled hockey.
Much like the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal has gone to only Canada or the United States since the first event in 1998, Paralympic gold in sled hockey has belonged to one of those two countries since 2002. The rivals have also combined for nine world championships and met in the past five world championships finals. Expect that rivalry to renew in Beijing from the get-go as the teams meet in their opening game on March 5.
...the strategy of the U.S. men’s, women’s and mixed doubles curling teams, then don’t miss wheelchair curling.
“Chess on ice” is a common descriptor for curling, and you’ll find all the same strategic decision-making in wheelchair curling. The major difference is no sweeping; there is little margin for error as wheelchair curlers deliver their rocks using an extension device to apply just the right rotation to hit the target. U.S. skip Matt Thums will lead Team USA in pursuit of its first medal.
...Deedra Irwin’s historic seventh-place finish in biathlon, then don’t miss Team USA’s first biathlon medalists Kendall Gretsch and Dan Cnossen in action.
In Beijing Irwin secured the best finish ever by a U.S. Olympic biathlete by finishing seventh in the women’s individual race. Two Team USA Paralympians have already found the biathlon podium at the Games, as Gretsch and Cnossen each had huge breakthroughs four years ago, winning gold medals in their respective sitting classifications. Now they’re back and looking to repeat.