Paralympics preview: The sports
⛷️ Alpine skiing: Alpine skiing will include five events — downhill, super-G, super combined, giant slalom and slalom — across three competition categories — standing, sitting and vision-impaired.
- Vision-impaired skiers navigate turns with guides, who give verbal cues via a headset as they ski. Let’s just process those reflexes for a moment.
🎿 Biathlon (standing, sitting and vision-impaired): Biathlon features cross-country skiing and rifle-shooting, because the only logical conclusion to lung-busting cardio is to lie down for a second.
- Vision-impaired athletes use rifles that make a sound — the closer they are to the target, the more intense the signal.
🎿 Cross-country skiing: Cross-country skiing is open to athletes with physical and visual impairments, meaning you’ll be able to watch standing skiing, sit-skiing and guide-assisted skiing at these Games.
🏂 Snowboarding: Beijing will feature three snowboarding events — snowboard-cross, banked slalom and giant slalom. And we have to pay tribute to the late Dutch snowboarder Bibian Mentel-Spee, who spearheaded the campaign for the sport’s inclusion in the Paralympics. Snowboarder, dancer, three-time Paralympic champion, needless to say she’s a legend.
🏒 Sledge hockey: Players use two sticks — each with a spike-end for pushing and blade-end for shooting — and double-blade sledges instead of skates. It's arguably more battle intensive than ice hockey, get hyped.
🥌 Wheelchair curling: Unlike its Olympic counterpart, there’s no sweeping in wheelchair curling. Instead, teams take turns throwing their stones with a delivery stick. All about accuracy, baby.