NBC to premiere Paralympic Team Trials special

A one-hour special will document the making of the 2016 US Paralympic Team that will compete in Rio. 18 Jul 2016
A wheelchair racer leads a line of competitors on a red track.

The USA's Tatyana McFadden leads the field at the 2016 IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.

ⒸGetty Images
By NBC Sports Group

“These athletes are more than just Paralympians, they are sports heroes and ambassadors for all that the Paralympic Movement represents."

NBC Olympics, in association with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), US Paralympics and NASCAR Productions, will premiere “Road to Rio: 2016 US Paralympic Team Trials,” a one-hour special that chronicles the making of the 2016 US Paralympic Team, on Monday (18 July) at 11 pm ET on NBCSN.

“Road to Rio” will feature exclusive access to training sessions and the 2016 US Paralympic Trials, as well as interviews with Paralympic champions and 2016 team members. The documentary special also highlights the training, endeavours and journeys of some of the US Paralympic team’s most promising competitors in swimming, track and field, and cycling. In addition, the documentary explores the bonds between athletes that are formed during the lead up to the Paralympic Games.

“These athletes are more than just Paralympians, they are sports heroes and ambassadors for all that the Paralympic Movement represents,” said Mark Levy Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. “Without the strong collaboration between NBC Olympics, the USOC, US Paralympics and NASCAR Productions, this production would not have been possible.”

“Road to Rio” features interviews with 12-time Paralympic swimming gold medallist Jessica Long; 10-time Paralympic track and field medallist Tatyana McFadden; three-time Paralympic swimming medallist Brad Snyder; three-time Paralympic track and field medallist Lex Gillette; as well as world record-holders Michelle Konkoly and David Brown.

“We all have unique stories and we all have something that we need to go through,” said McFadden. “If someone looks at my life and says, ‘hey she went through that and here she is today,’ I love that, because you know that you are a champion of someone’s life. When people turn on the TV, I want their reaction to be ‘I can do the same.’”

“It’s definitely been tough during the last two years of training. I could focus on the negative, and all of the things that I haven’t done correctly, but I’m really proud of myself for still being in the sport,” said Long. “You have to continue to find that love for the sport. And I do, no matter the medals or the pressure.”

In addition, the special will include spotlight features on US Paralympic cycling team members Joe Berenyi and Jamie Whitmore.

“Road to Rio” is the latest project developed by NBC Olympics and the USOC. It was produced by NASCAR Productions, and is narrated by Al Trautwig.

NBC Olympics’ coverage of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games begins Wednesday 7 September at 7 pm ET on NBCSN.

NBC Olympics will combine to present more than 70 hours of coverage of the Rio Paralympic Games across NBC, NBCSN and the NBC Sports app. Coverage of the 2016 Games will feature an increase of 20 hours from NBC Olympics’ presentation of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games (50), and an increase of 64 hours from the London 2012 Paralympic Games (six).

In addition to NBC Sports Group’s unprecedented coverage, the USOC will provide live online coverage at TeamUSA.org.