Winter Paralympics 2014

The 2014 Winter Paralympics begins this coming Friday, and like it’s Sumer counterpart, it’s due to be the biggest yet.

This is the XI (eleventh) Paralympic Winter Games and will be held from 7–16 March in Sochi, Russia.

The games will see the début of para-snowboarding which will be placed under the Alpine skiing program.
There are six sports with many disciplines within them, and there are mixed teams as well as single sex events. The full list of events and explanations are below.

Alpine skiing
Downhill (sitting, standing, visually impaired): women – men
Super-G (sitting, standing, visually impaired): women – men
Giant slalom (sitting, standing, visually impaired): women – men
Slalom (sitting, standing, visually impaired): women – men
Super combined (sitting, standing, visually impaired): women – men
Snowboard cross (standing): women – men

Biathlon
Men’s events
7.5 km (sitting, standing, and visually impaired)
12.5 km (sitting, standing, and visually impaired)
15 km (sitting, standing, and visually impaired)
Women’s events
6 km (sitting, standing, and visually impaired)
10 km (sitting, standing, and visually impaired)
12.5 km (sitting, standing, and visually impaired)

Cross-country skiing
1 km sprint (standing, sitting, visually impaired): women – men
Women’s 5km (standing, sitting, visually impaired)
10 km (standing, sitting, visually impaired): women – men
15 km (standing, sitting, visually impaired): women – men
Men’s 20km (standing, visually impaired)
4 x 2.5km mixed relay
4 x 2.5km open relay

Ice sledge hockey
The ice sledge hockey will be held in the Shayba Arena and a total of eight teams will compete in the mixed team tournament.

Wheelchair curling
The wheelchair curling will be held at the Ice Cube and will be competed by ten mixed teams.

So what of the chances for Great Britain?
A team of fifteen athletes will be competing in Sochi as GB look to win their first ever Paralympic gold medal. UK Sport has set a target of between two and six medals for the following athletes to attain.

GB will be represented in two of the five Winter Paralympic sports, having failed to gain qualification places in ice sledge hockey, cross-country skiing and biathlon.

In alpine skiing, visually impaired trio Kelly Gallagher, Jade Etherington and Millie Knight will race with their respective guides Charlotte Evans, Caroline Powell and Rachael Ferrier.
Mick Brennan, Ben Sneesby and Anna Turney will compete in sit-skiing, and James Whitley will contest the standing events.

The wheelchair curling team consists of Aileen Neilson, Jim Gault, Gregor Ewan, Rob McPherson and Angie Malone.

You could say there is a little pressure on them to perform as GB’s Paralympic team has taken just one medal from the last four Games, which was wheelchair curling silver at Turin in 2006.

The main hope for a gold lays with Kelly Gallagher, who finished fourth in the giant slalom in Vancouver four years ago and has been doing well in recent World Championships.
The team contains a trio of talented teenagers in Millie Knight (15), Ben Sneesby (19) and James Whitley (16).
They are expected to perform well perhaps without necessarily being expected to win a medal between them.

It’s great to hear that NBC in America is due to broadcast well over 40 hours coverage and Channel Four in the UK has committed to at least 45 hours of live coverage.
Most days the events either begin at 5:30 or 6:00am GMT and you can find the full schedule on the channel four website here http://paralympics.channel4.com/competitions/sochi-2014-winter-paralympics/schedule-results/index.html

For the first time in the games history, Paralympic medals have the event name also inscribed in Braille.

600x600_Paralympics-GOLD

 

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