Sochi 2014 continues with the Paralympics
By Jerrison Oracion, Contributor
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games last month had a lot of moments that got the whole world talking. Among those moments was Canada exhibiting their hockey dominance en route to picking up 25 medals—10 of which were gold. Perhaps more interesting than the brilliant athletic displays though, was that they happened without any major events affecting them. Now, shortly after the games have ended, another major sporting event will happen: the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games. With a little luck, the March 7-16 event will create moments that will be as magical as those that happened during the Sochi games.
While the situation in Ukraine almost affected the Olympics, there is a chance that it will affect the Paralympics. There have been whisperings of the Ukrainian Paralympic Team pulling out if the situation worsens.
Another concern, though an admittedly lesser one, is the coverage. Fortunately, such worries are unnecessary. Although most of the live coverage of the Paralympic games will not be as in-depth as the live coverage of the Olympic games, there will be plenty of the live coverage of the Paralympic games via the Internet and, of course, endless highlights on TV.
One highly anticipated sport in the Paralympic Winter games this year is called snowboard cross. If you only plan on tuning in to select events, you might want to make sure you watch this one. Adding another level of difficulty to an already strenuous sport is sure to make snowboard cross a fan favourite.
Canada’s chances for medals look good this year. In skiing, Canada is led by the inspirational tale of Josh Dueck, who won a silver medal in the men’s sit-ski downhill race. In sledge hockey, Canada will make a strong push for a gold. Although the team picked up a gold in 2006, they failed to medal in Vancouver in 2010, so look for them to reclaim their top spot. In curling, which is mixed gender in the Paralympics, Canada’s curling team of Sonja Gaudet, Ina Forrest, Dennis Thiessen, Jim Armstrong, and Mark Ideson will try to repeat their country’s 2010 success. If Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones can get a gold medal in curling in the Olympics games, then trust Gaudet to lead her team to a similar finish in the Paralympics.
The Olympics will always be a worldwide spectacle, but for those who take in some of the Paralympics, they won’t be disappointed.