14-year-old Husnah Kukundakwe paving way for Ugandans | Tokyo 2020 Paralympics | NBC Sports

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NBC Sports 26 August, 2021 - 02:07pm 12 views

What channel is Paralympics opening ceremony?

The ceremony will be replayed on NBCSN the same night at 7, leading into live coverage from the first day of competition. Throughout the Games, NBCSN is expected to present live coverage of competition each night, usually from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern. Other coverage can be seen on NBC and the Olympic Channel. The New York TimesHow to Watch the Paralympics Opening Ceremony

With 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target now in the books, it's time to get back into Heineken Rivalry Week derby matchups this weekend. That means another El Trafico is on tap, as LAFC and the LA Galaxy meet in a massive bout at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday (7 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes).

It might still be in its relative infancy, but El Trafico has already provided us with some memorable matchups, starting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring one of the great goals in MLS history.

The second episode of the Bleacher Report and Wells Fargo content series “Heart of the Game” went live on Tuesday ahead of Saturday's matchup, with the episode featuring interviews with Jordan Harvey (LAFC) and Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), who gave their perspective on what makes these rivalry games such special matchups.

"From the first moment we stepped on the field and we had this LA rivalry, it was electric," Harvey said. "It was just the craziest thing I've ever been a part of. I can't pinpoint any game that has this much energy, this much anticipation and fire from the players that feed off the fans. You feel like the whole league is looking at this LA rivalry."

Added Araujo: "They're the games I've always dreamed of playing in and prepared myself to play in. I really can't explain the feeling that it is when I play against them, but it's a feeling that I love to wake up to."

Watch the full episode above, including a tribute to Mo Fascio, Vice President of LAFC's Independent Supporters Union, the 3252, who passed away from COVID-19 in February 2020.

Read full article at NBC Sports

Olympics climbing venue becomes Paralympics football pitch | AFP

AFP News Agency 27 August, 2021 - 08:00am

Nine dual summer and winter athletes to watch

International Paralympic Committee 27 August, 2021 - 06:33am

The World Championships in Lillehammer is still a bit more than four months away and there are plenty of Para snow sports stars in action during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games until 5 September. 

Here a closer look at multi-sport athletes who shine in summer and winter sports.

A World Championships medallist in Para biathlon at Prince George 2019, Pike has been to all Games since London 2012 (three Summer and two Winter Paralympics). 

He will compete in four wheelchair racing events in Para athletics – and will also be paying close attention to Para cycling where his partner Oksana Masters will be in search of a medal.

The Norwegian has combined Para cross-country skiing and Para rowing with plenty of success at the international level but is still after her first Paralympic medal.

Skarstein made her debut at Sochi 2014 and has since competed at Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018. She competes in Para rowing’s PR1 women's single sculls - PR1W1x final on Sunday, 29 August.

A three-time Paralympic medallist in Para athletics, Wagner made her snow sports debut in Para snowboard at PyeongChang 2018.

The Danish athlete is also a three-time world champion in Para athletics and will compete in the men’s 100m and men’s long jump T63 in Tokyo.

The newcomer will be aiming at making two Paralympic Games debut in six months at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. She started in Para sports in 2019 and will compete in the women’s 400m T47 in Para athletics.

Once Tokyo 2020 is over, Aravich will focus on achieving qualification to the Winter Games as part of Team USA Para Nordic skiing team in Para cross-country skiing.

A star in Para triathlon she moved to Para Nordic skiing after discovering her class would not be part of the programme for Rio 2016 where triathlon made its Paralympic debut. 

Gretsch took a gold in Para biathlon and another in Para cross-country skiing at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics. Now she will looking at her first Summer Games medal in the women’s PTWC class in Para triathlon.

The Laureus Awards winner is the biggest name among the summer & winter athletes. She made her Paralympic debut at London 2012 taking a bronze medal in Para rowing. 

Masters has seven Winter Paralympic medals from Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 (where she claimed two gold) in Para biathlon and Para cross-country skiing. 

Tokyo 2020 will be her second Games in Para cycling and Masters will be aiming for her first medal in the sport after fourth and fifth at Rio 2016.

The 17-year-old is another athlete targeting Paralympic debuts in Tokyo and Beijing. She will compete in four wheelchair races in the T54 class against and is highly motivated following her two gold medals at the European Championships in June.

The German Wunderkind made her international Para cross-country skiing in 2018 at the World Cup in Vuokattin, Finland. 

One of the biggest stars in Para snow sports in Japan, Muraoka took five medals in Para alpine skiing at PyeongChang 2018 – including one gold in the women’s giant slalom sitting. 

She made her Winter Paralympics debut at Sochi 2014 and started to practice Para athletics dreaming of competing at the home Summer Games. Muraoka will race in the 100m T54 at Tokyo 2020. 

Paralympic legend McFadden has 17 medals to her name since her debut at Athens 2004. One of them came in the Winter Paralympics at Sochi 2014 in Para cross-country skiing. 

She has solely focused on Para athletics since 2015 and will be aiming to improve her four gold and one silver from Rio 2016 competing in five events in the T54 class at Tokyo 2020.

You can check all results from the multi-sport athletes in Tokyo on Paralympic.org.

Ex-Deliveryman Brings Russian Paralympic Gold With 2 World Records - The Moscow Times

The Moscow Times 27 August, 2021 - 02:27am

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.

Dr Ed Coughlan: Now is the time for Paralympians to receive the respect they deserve

Irish Examiner 26 August, 2021 - 08:21pm

The Olympics family covers humanity well and in many respects is the best version of ourselves and a shining example of what is possible.

As a nation we are fortunate to have strong representation across the board, apart from maybe the winter disciplines.

The recent Olympics were, as always, incredible, the current Paralympics are, as always, inspirational, and the Special Olympics in Berlin in 2023 will be, as always, life-affirming.

The similarities that bind the biggest sporting events on the planet are found in the endeavour of the athletes, and the unwavering drive to be better than yourself first and foremost, and then your competitors when the Games begin.

The 16th Paralympic Games commenced this week in Tokyo since the first Games were held in Rome in 1960 as part of a summer Olympics programme. Incidentally, it wasn’t officially recognised as the Paralympic Games by the International Olympic Committee until 1984 and a further five years passed before the International Paralympic Committee was formed in 1989.

Before all that it was known as the Stoke-Mandeville Games in recognition of the hospital that treated many World War II veterans with life-changing injuries who inspired a Games to showcase that life did not need to stop because of a life committed to a wheelchair or as a result of an amputation. The Invictus Games keeps this tradition alive of recognising the sporting achievements of injured servicemen and women. There are other parallel sporting events such as the World Wheelchair and Amputee Games that many Paralympians compete in between the normal four-year Paralympic cycle.

The backstories for many Paralympians reflect a resolve to find a way.

Find a way to overcome a genetic predisposition that made them feel different as a kid.

Find a way to move on from an unexpected illness or accident that initially seemed to stop them in their tracks.

Find a way to feel grateful for what they have and not dwell on what they do not have.

This capacity to change the narrative is common across all successful athletes. In fact, sport is just fortunate that they chose it and not some other endeavour that they would have likely excelled at, albeit away from a global audience.

Sport is the means by which they express themselves and we the fans get to revel in their achievement. However, to simplify it as just determined people doing active things misses the point entirely.

Channel 4 recently showed a brilliant programme titled Changing Gears, presented by Billy Monger that exemplified the calibre of athletes we are dealing with at a Paralympics.

Billy, a talented racing car driver in his youth, had his dreams of a career in Formula One dashed in 2017 when his car crashed at Donnington race track resulting in a double leg amputation.

After the customary outpouring of support he received from those close to him and those he would never know or meet he was struck with how nonchalant people became with their assumption that he would go on to become a para-athlete and one day a Paralympian.

Unsurprisingly, he never had any aspirations of being a Paralympian, nonetheless, he did find the assumptions of others quite surprising. Possibly because he recognised what it took to excel at something, anything, but more so because it was so different to his own opinion.

He always saw Paralympians as athletes who had to be athletic while having to deal with what seemed like insurmountable obstacles in every other aspect of their lives. To think that people saw para-athleticism as an obvious option was worthy of exploration, and the subject of the aforementioned programme.

In it he immerses himself in the training environments of several Paralympians in sports such as open-water swimming, canoeing, and sprinting only to find himself as lost as anyone else would be when you are thrust into the realm of a high performing athlete, para or otherwise.

What is also apparent is the level of sport science support that follows the mite of a modern-day Paralympian. The psychological and physiological support is a given. It is the almost futuristic level of technology involved with the biomechanics and bioengineering that is a fascination in and of itself.

Equipment is tailored to the bespoke requirements of the athlete, depending on their needs.

Bikes have carbon fibre limbs attached to replace a missing limb from an athlete. Boats have bracing scaffolds to counter the weight imbalance from a top-heavy athlete.

Prosthetics are built to create force in a naturalistic way so as to enable movement that is both controllable and explosive in equal measure.

And once all this equipment is designed, delivered, and fitted, it must then be blended into an already finely tuned specimen who will push its engineering to the very limits of its capacity and often times to breaking point in the search of faster, stronger, higher, and longer.

As Team Ireland prepared for departure to Tokyo in recent weeks insights were gained as to the challenges they encounter and overcome en route to such a career highpoint. There were also threads of bemusement from some of the athletes. For instance, swimmer Róisín Ní Ríain put forward some of the misconceptions she has had to deal with, such as that para athletes don’t have the same level of commitment, or don’t train as hard as other athletes.

Cyclist Eve McCrystal sees change being directly linked to exposure and funding support. In a lot of respects, the Paralympics are still in their infancy from a media perspective compared to other sports, but the tide has been shifting rapidly in recent years and with that a greater appreciation of the skill and athleticism on show.

Swimming gold in Tokyo, Ellen Keane, has spoken of the responsibility of Paralympians to showcase their work, a responsibility that mainstream athletes probably don’t have to do so much. However, she sees it as an opportunity and not an obstacle. A chance to share the rigours of being an elite athlete aiming to qualify to world-class international standards just the same as anyone else.

None of this is to suggest that Paralympians expect to be viewed any differently from any other athlete, on the contrary, such is their confidence that given the chance to impress they will will rise to the pressure that comes with expectation.

There is an energy surrounding this year’s Paralympics, even in the shadow of Covid-19, and Team Ireland with their 29 athletes across nine sports are responsible for this feeling. The perfect blend of youth and experience probably contributes to this also, with Paralympic debutant, cyclist Richael Timothy, joining the likes of household names such as multiple track Olympic champions Michael McKillop and Jason Smyth on the plane to Japan.

Like every major sporting event there is something for everyone in Tokyo over the next two weeks. Be sure to treat yourself to some good old-fashioned competition where the best of the best go head-to-head for Paralympic glory. Personal favourites are football five-a-side, goalball and all the racquet sports, tennis, badminton, and table-tennis. Keep an eye out for Egypt’s Ibrahim Hamadtou in the table-tennis — mic drop.

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

© Irish Examiner Ltd, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523712.

See as L.A. hosts the MLS-Liga MX All-Star game

The Washington Post 26 August, 2021 - 12:37am

Major League Soccer, with 27 teams in the U.S. and Canada, and Liga MX, with 18 teams in Mexico, have competed in numerous competitions over the years — most of which ended with Mexico winning. But this week’s interleague activities at Banc of California Stadium, which kicked off with Tuesday’s skills challenge and concluded Wednesday with the first MLS-Liga MX All-Star game, is both the largest and most intimate collaboration between the two. The MLS All-Stars won on penalty kicks after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Robert Gauthier has been with the Los Angeles Times since 1994. He has covered international and national stories, including Middle East conflicts in Iraq and Lebanon and catastrophes such as the Sept. 11 attack in New York and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His assignments also include sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Super Bowls and NBA championships. Gauthier was the photographer for a story detailing the failings of a Los Angeles public hospital; the project won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for public service. Other awards include the Robert F. Kennedy, World Press, Pictures of the Year and Sigma Delta Chi. Before The Times, Gauthier worked at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Escondido Times-Advocate and the Bernardo News in San Diego County, his hometown.

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