It’s been over a week since the Olympic flame has been extinguished, but Rio isn’t done yet. If you’re still craving the heat of competition, grit, and dedication, the Paralympic Games are set to begin September 7.
The last Paralympic Games in London sold 2.72 million tickets, which was more than any Paralympics prior, and even catapulted it to the third-largest sporting event in ticket sales behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. Following the close of the London Games, the International Paralympic Committee Chief called on Rio to deliver an equally impressive turnout. As of August 29, over one million tickets have been sold to these Rio Paralympic Games, with nearly 100 sessions sold out.
The Paralympic Games are sometimes overshadowed by the Games held prior, but these athletes are far from secondary. Their work ethic, skill, and passion make them among the greatest athletes in the world. Here are some of Team USA’s athletes to watch:
Zachary Abbott, Track and Field: Just call him the All-Around. His events include the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 4x400m Relay. At the 2012 Paralympic Games he placed 8th in the 100m, and earned the Silver Medal at the 2011 Parapan American Games in the 800m. There’s no race this guy can’t do.
Muffy Davis, Cycling: A Paralympic veteran, Muffy’s earned medals at each of her Paralympic showings (she’s been to three if you’re wondering). In 2012 alone, she brought home the gold in the team relay, individual time trial, and individual road race. And if you want passion and dedication, Muffy’s been competing since 1998.
Joe Hamilton, Goalball: A member of USA’s Goalball team, Joe’s no stranger to the game, as his team placed first in the 2015 USABA National Championships. What’s goalball you ask? A team sport designed specifically for blind people. The game requires such attentiveness and use of all other senses. This game gets intense and is worth the watch!
Brent Rasmussen, Volleyball: This will be Brent’s first Paralympic appearance, but not his first time competing in Rio. In 2007, he and his team won the Silver at the Parapan American Games. As the setter for his volleyball team, he’s got to remain poised and composed, and the pressure is something Brent seems accustomed to thriving under, with a lengthy resume of international competition.
Susannah Scaroni, Marathon: You want grit, you’re gonna get it in Susannah Scaroni. She competed in the 2012 London Games, placing 8th in the marathon. Since then she’s come away with a few first place finishes in marathons throughout the United States, so we can be sure to expect a great showing this year.
Now that you’re excited to see some of Team USA’s best compete, where can you actually watch them? Tune in to NBC Sports Network for continuous programming beginning September 7, and rounding out with the Closing Ceremonies on September 18. Don’t have the Sports Network? No problem, head on over to Paralympic.org or NBC.com.
Among the sports you can expect to see are archery, sailing, track and field, swimming, volleyball, basketball, and a whole lot more.
And, if you needed any more reason to get excited about the Paralympics, check out “We’re the super humans” video on Youtube. Hope you’re ready, Rio, you’re about to be wowed. Again.
Photo courtesy of Holly Rowland, Creative Commons, London 2012 Paralympics