Team USA’s smartphones were out in force during Tuesday night’s Opening Ceremonies. For a peek at how things looked from the competitors’ point of view, scroll down for a gallery of images and reflections.
WE’RE TALKING UP THE PARALYMPICS ON COSITALKS
Tune in tonight at 8:30 pm Eastern for a special edition of COSI Talks. We’ll be joining host Cosi Belloso to talk up the Paralympics as a cultural phenomenon, historical movement, entertainment vehicle, and more. It’s live, informative, informal, interactive, and totally fun. Log in at https://www.facebook.com/cositalks.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: TRACK AND FIELD
We combed through the competition schedule to find the days/times of the track and field events we don’t want to miss. The entries below list when the event will be streamed live in the US Eastern time zone on the NBC Olympics app. That’s not necessarily when the event will be broadcast on NBC or its cable offshoots; check this schedule if you’re watching the Games on those platforms. Here’s our list:
Men’s long jump T63: August 28, 6:50am Ezra Frech takes his first shot at the Paralympic podium.
Men’s 100m T64: August 29, 8:20am. Showdown between US medal contenders Jarryd Wallace and Jonathan Gore.
Women’s discus F64: August 29, 9:10pm. Jessica Heims launches her medal quest.
Men’s high jump T63: August 31, 620am. Sam Grewe and Ezra Frech hope to share space on the podium.
Women’s 200m T64: August 31, 650am. Femita Ayanbeku looks for her first Paralympic medal.
Men’s shotput F46: August 31, 9:30pm. World-record holder Josh Cinnamo tries for his first Paralympic medal.
Men’s discus F64: September 2, 5:00am. Can Jeremy Campbell win his third Paralympic gold medal?
Women’s 100m T64: September 3, 615am. Ayanbeku and Beatriz Hatz go toe-to-toe with the world’s best.
Men’s 400m T62: September 3, 630am. Hunter Woodhall seeks his third Paralympic medal, first gold.
Women’s 100m T63: September 4, 820am. US record-holder Noelle Lambert takes on the world.
If there’s an event you’re keen on that isn’t listed, consult the full track and field slate. (Check back tomorrow for our must-see swimming events.)
TODAY’S COMPETITION: WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
By the time you read this. Elizabeth Marks might already be the first US medal winner of this year’s Games. She set a Paralympic record last night in a qualifier for the 50m freestyle (Classification S6), and the medal race took place this morning at about 6 am Eastern. We won’t spoil the outcome for anybody who’s planning to watch the rebroadcast on NBC and/or its cable partners later today. Later tonight (early tomorrow in Tokyo), amputee swimmers Mikaela Jenkins, Summer Schmit, MeiMei White, and Hannah Apsden, all have qualifying heats in the 100m breaststroke.
Men’s wheelchair basketball opens its gold-medal defense tonight at 8pm Eastern against Germany. Wheelchair rugby also has a match, its second, facing Canada in pool play after a triumphant debut yesterday against New Zealand. The tilt with Canada will stream live tonight at 10:30pm Eastern.
VIEWS FROM THE OPENING CEREMONIES
As promised, here’s a sampling of images and impressions from Team USAers as they marched in last night’s Opening Ceremonies. We start with co-flag bearer Melissa Stockwell:
Some nights you’ll never forget. And the chants of USA through the halls of the stadium stick with you for a lifetime. Thank you @teamusa for this honor and thanks for being the best team in the world. And @chuckaoki? We rocked it out there. Now let’s get this party started. USA!
LET THE GAMES BEGIN! Dream come true .. Opening ceremonies was a movie, had a blast with my SQUAD! Thank you Tokyo for being amazing!
People have asked me… why do you still swim? What keeps you going? It’s the endless love I have for the sport. It was there for me when I was 10 years old. When I didn’t show my legs. When I felt ashamed. It taught me resilience. It taught me to be confident. It taught me to trust. It taught me to never give up. It taught me to love. Swimming has always been there for me.
Volleyball captain Katie Holloway:
Opening Ceremony is bittersweet tonight in Tokyo. While our Fab Four are going strong, I felt half empty without our whole family there to celebrate and take cute pics. Still enjoyed seeing all my favorite people, and it was super special to be led by one of my favorite athlete advocates @chuckaoki 💪🏼 Also proud to have @mstockwell01 leading. She has done a ton for this movement and I couldn’t be more excited for these two!
Finally, here’s superdad Clayton Frech, from his Facebook diary:
I attended the Rio Opening Ceremonies and it was incredible. Epic. Powerful. But honestly, this was better. I was down on the street, walking along [with] the team. I was able to really feel the energy of the procession and the US delegation. It really meant a lot to me… I also realize I will likely never have this opportunity again.