5 Reasons to Watch the Paralympics

Sara Croft from Easterseals Crossroads in Indianapolis shares the "wow"-provoking athletes and events that will keep her eyes glued to the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. After you read this list, you won't want to miss them either.

The XI Paralympic Games will be held in Sochi, Russia, from March 7 to March 16, 2014. Each year, more athletes participate in the games and more competitions are offered. Alpine skiing, a biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling will be featured, along with the introduction of para-snowboarding. I'll be watching! Here are five reasons why you should watch them this March too:

1. 2014 will be the first year for para-snowboarding. After many years of petitioning, this extreme sport will be featured with three men and two women USA competitors. Never seen para-snowboarding? This video outlines the sport and the rules:

2. Imagine skiing at the speed of 65 mph, blindfolded. Visually impaired skiers will rely on guides who can give them instructions via a wireless Bluetooth connection in their helmets. Athletes must trust their guides completely to know how to navigate the course. Here you can see the athletes, their guides and learn about the visually impaired sport classes:

3. Five USA military veterans will compete in the ice sledge hockey games. Wounded from courageously serving our country, these veterans are competing as little as a few years after being in service.

4. View the games from your home, wherever you are. Over 150 hours of coverage will be broadcast online at Channel which is the biggest ever UK television commitment for the winter paralympics. The International Paralympic Committee will live stream over 300 hours of sports via http://paralympic.org and at the end of the day, all sports including individual ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling matches will be streamed on demand through their YouTube channel. NBC and NBCSN will air 50 hours of Paralympic coverage.

5. Tatyana McFadden is earning her nickname "The Beast." In 2013 she became the first woman to win all four major marathons along with six IPC world titles. McFadden will compete in the biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Is this giving you the itch to partake in some sports yourself? Check out Easterseals sports and recreation programs for both kids and adults.

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