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Nouveaux Niches at the Paralympics

This year’s Paralympics will be the first to offer live coverage of every sport to US television viewers. In previous years, NBC has rarely ventured outside the popular paraswimming and paraathletics categories, leaving fans of more esoteric disciplines to hunt for international broadcasts or pirated feeds. But with the Olympics and Paralympics headed for the United States in 2028, the network is broadening its coverage in a bid to cultivate audiences for unfamiliar sports that will soon be staged on our shores. 

If you’re inclined to explore a few of these off-brand competitions during the Tokyo Games, here are a handful of US amputees who have high hopes in low-profile sports.

Beatrice de Lavalette
Equestrian

She was so badly injured in a 2016 terrorist bombing that first responders triaged de Lavalette as red—least likely to survive. She was back in the saddle five months later as a bilateral amputee and back in competition within a year. READ MORE.

Isaac French
Rowing

As a 17-year-old in 2017, French became the youngest person ever to compete in the World Rowing Championships. He made the finals that year and again in 2019. He’ll turn 21 years old just before the Tokyo Games begin. READ MORE.

Jake Schrom
Powerlifting

Schrom narrowly missed competing in both the  2012 and 2016 Paralympics. But after taking gold in the 2019 Para Powerlifting World Cup, he’s well positioned for a podium finish in Tokyo. WATCH.

Matt Stutzman
Archery

After two Paralympic appearances, multiple titles in able-bodied archery, and a world record for the longest accurate shot in history (230 yards), Stutzman is among Team USA’s more recognizable faces. But he’s still looking for his first Paralympic gold medal. WATCH.

John Joss
Shooting

A longtime member of the US Army Marksmanship Unit, Joss was Team USA’s top-performing male shooter at Rio in 2016. He took silver in his most recent international competition, the 2018 Shooting Para World Cup in Chateauroux, France. READ MORE.

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