Paralympic programming set for primetime over the next 3 weeks

Tatyana McFadden
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A total of 58 hours of Paralympic programming air on NBCSN and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA over the next three weeks.

It starts Wednesday and Thursday with eight hours of Rio Paralympic events on NBCSN, starting at 7 ET each night.

Coverage includes U.S. gold-medal victories in men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball finals and women’s sitting volleyball. Also, the U.S.’ double-overtime defeat in the wheelchair rugby final, 59-58 to Australia. And highlights from swimming and track and field, where the U.S. earned 81 combined medals and 31 golds.

NBC Sports’ Ahmed Fareed will also host Instagram Live chats on the NBC Olympics account with Rio Paralympians in advance of each night’s broadcast.

Wednesday, 6:30-7 p.m.: Jessica Long (Swimming), Megan Blunk (Basketball), Trevon Jennifer (Basketball)
Thursday, 6:30-7 p.m.: Tatyana McFadden (Track and Field), Katie Holloway (Volleyball), Chuck Aoki (Rugby)

Starting June 29, Olympic Channel airs seven straight nights of 2019 World Para Swimming Championships coverage.

The U.S. took 35 total medals and 14 golds, led by Leanne Smith, who won three individual titles, all in American record times.

Olympic Channel airs seven straight nights of 2019 World Para Track and Field Championships starting July 6. The U.S. earned 34 medals, including 12 golds.

American stars included sprinter Deja Young, who earned 200m and universal 4x100m relay golds, plus 100m silver behind countrywoman Brittni Mason, who broke Young’s world record. Other notable champions included Roderick Townsend (high jump, plus long jump silver) and Daniel Romanchuk (800m, less than a week after winning the New York City Marathon wheelchair division).

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MORE: Paralympic swim hopeful builds backyard pool

RIO PARALYMPICS

DAY EVENT TIME (ET) NETWORK
Wednesday Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Final 7 p.m. NBCSN
Best of Swimming 8:30 p.m. NBCSN
Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Final 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday Women’s Sitting Volleyball Final 7 p.m. NBCSN
Best of Track & Field 8 p.m. NBCSN
Wheelchair Rugby Final 9 p.m. NBCSN

2019 WORLD PARA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

DATE EVENTS TIME (ET) NETWORK
Mon., June 29 Day 1 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Tues., June 30 Day 2 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Wed., July 1 Day 3 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Thurs., July 2 Day 4 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Fri., July 3 Day 5 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Sat., July 4 Day 6 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Sun., July 5 Day 7 8 p.m. Olympic Channel

2019 WORLD PARA TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

DATE EVENTS TIME (ET) NETWORK
Mon., July 6 Day 1 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Tues., July 7 Day 2 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Wed., July 8 Day 3 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Day 4 11 p.m. Olympic Channel
Thurs., July 9 Day 5 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Fri., July 10 Day 6 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Sat., July 11 Day 7 8 p.m. Olympic Channel
Day 8 11 p.m. Olympic Channel
Sun., July 12 Day 9 8 p.m. Olympic Channel

 

Jim Redmond, who helped son Derek finish 1992 Olympic race, dies

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Jim Redmond, who helped his injured son, Derek, finish his 1992 Olympic 400m semifinal, died at age 81 on Sunday, according to the British Olympic Association, citing family members.

At the 1992 Barcelona Games, Derek pulled his right hamstring 15 seconds into his 400m semifinal, falling to the track in anguish.

He brushed off help from officials, got up and began limping around the track. About 120 meters from the finish line, he felt the presence of an uncredentialed man who rushed down the stadium stairs, dodged officials and reportedly said, “We started this together, and we’re going to finish this together.”

“As I turned into the home straight, I could sense this person was about to try and stop me,” Derek said in an NBC Olympics profile interview before the 2012 London Games. “I was just about to get ready to sort of fend them off, and then I heard a familiar voice of my dad. He said, ‘Derek, it’s me. You don’t need to do this.'”

Derek said he shouted to his dad that he wanted to finish the race.

“He was sort of saying things like, ‘You’ve got nothing to prove. You’re a champion. You’ll come back. You’re one of the best guys in the world. You’re a true champion. You’ve got heart. You’re going to get over this. We’ll conquer the world together,'” Derek remembered. “I’m just sort of saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.'”

At one point, Derek noticed stadium security, not knowing who Jim was, having removed guns from their holsters.

“It’s the only time I’ve ever heard my dad use bad language,” Derek said. “He just goes, ‘Leave him alone, I’m his father.'”

Derek told himself in that moment, “I’m going to finish this race if it’s the last race I ever run.” It turned out to be the last 400m race of his career, after surgery and 18 months of rehab were not enough to yield a competitive comeback, according to Sports Illustrated.

Derek had missed the 1988 Seoul Games after tearing an Achilles, reportedly while warming up for his opening race. He looked strong in Barcelona, winning his first-round heat and quarterfinal.

“I’d rather be seen to be coming last in the semifinal than not finish in the semifinal,” he said, “because at least I can say I gave it my best.”

Asher Hong leads U.S. men’s gymnastics world team selection camp after first day

Asher Hong
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Asher Hong, 18, posted the highest all-around score on the first of two days of competition at the U.S. men’s gymnastics selection camp to determine the last three spots on the team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Hong, bidding to become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009, totaled 84.6 points in Colorado Springs. He edged Colt Walker by one tenth. Tokyo Olympians Shane Wiskus (84.15) and Yul Moldauer (83.95) were next. Full apparatus-by-apparatus scores are here.

Brody Malone, who repeated as U.S. all-around champion at August’s national championships, and runner-up Donnell Whittenburg already clinched spots on the five-man team for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. They did not compete Monday, though their results from the first day of nationals are shown in the official scores.

The three remaining team spots will not necessarily go to the top three all-arounders at this week’s camp, which is supposed to be weighed equally with results from August’s nationals. Hong was third at nationals, but if excluding difficulty bonus points from that meet that will not be considered by the committee, would have finished behind Walker and Moldauer in August.

A selection committee is expected to announce the team soon after the second and final day of selection camp competition on Wednesday evening. The committee will look at overall scoring potential for the world team final, where three men go per apparatus, and medal potential in individual events.

Stephen Nedoroscik, who last year became the first American to win a world title on the pommel horse, is trying to make the team solely on that apparatus. He wasn’t at his best at nationals and struggled again on Monday, hurting his chances of displacing an all-arounder for one of the last three spots.

The U.S. has reason to emphasize the team event over individual medals at this year’s worlds. It will clinch an Olympic berth by finishing in the top three, and its medal hopes are boosted by the absence of the Russians who won the Olympic team title. All gymnasts from Belarus and Russia are banned indefinitely from international competition due to the war in Ukraine.

In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

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