If you found yourself inspired by the athletic accomplishments of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games athletes competing in Sochi, prepare to be astounded by the Paralympians.
The Paralympics offers athletes with what the International Paralympic Committee considers a "primary impairment" the opportunity to participate in Olympic-class sports competitions. Seventy-two gold medals are up for grabs in this year’s official Paralympics sports of Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, and Wheelchair Curling.
The ten eligible impairments include the following:
- Impaired muscle power
- Impaired passive range of movement
- Limb deficiency
- Leg length difference
- Short stature
- Vision impairment
- Intellectual impairment
(For more information on the impairments, see the "Introduction to IPC Classifications" descriptions published on the International Paralympic Committee website.)
The Opening Ceremony is today at 8 p.m Sochi time (11 a.m. EST).
The full Paralympic Winter games schedule can be found here: Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. To determine what Sochi times convert to in your own time zone, you can use the simple time converter at World Time Buddy.