VITAC Captioning PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games

by: David Titmus

VITAC is proud to provide captioning for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, running now through next Sunday (March 18) on NBC and its affiliated networks.

NBC Olympics will feature more than 250 hours of comprehensive coverage, including 94 hours of television coverage — nearly doubling the television coverage for the Sochi Games (50 hours) — spanning 10 days across NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA,, and the NBC Sports app. More than 150 hours of streaming coverage will be available via and the NBC Sports app for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs, and the Olympic Channel app also will stream the Paralympic content televised on the Olympic Channel.

Paralympics Opening Ceremony torch lightingVITAC’s talented captioners, coordinators, schedulers, and engineers, many of whom just finished bringing captions to more than 1,300 hours of PyeongChang Winter Olympic programming and events last month, are now busy researching Paralympic athletes and teams, events, sporting venues, and announcing teams, among other things, to make sure that viewers who rely on captioning see the most accurate captions possible.

NBC Olympics also will provide video description services — short verbal descriptions of action or key video scenes to add context to programing — for viewers with visual disabilities.

This year’s games feature more than 570 athletes from more than four dozen countries competing in 80 medal events across six sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, snowboard, and wheelchair curling.

The Paralympic Games continues VITAC’s impressive run of providing captions for the year’s biggest sporting events, including the NHL Winter Classic in January, the Super Bowl and Winter Olympic Games in February, and this month’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, which tips off in earnest later this week.

Paralympic Notes

* The Paralympic committee is adding bobsleds to the Beijing games in 2022. Athletes will compete with specially designed sleds, trying to clock the fastest time down a track. The competition also will require a special mechanism that replicates running starts.

* North Korea is competing in the Winter Games for the first time, along with Georgia and Tajikistan.

* The Paralympic Summer Games have 22 sports, including two — boccia and goalball — created just for disabled athletes. The Summer Games are open to a wider variety of disabilities.

* The first Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960, with the first Winter Games following in 1976 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The International Paralympic Committee, however, dates the games’ origins back to 1940’s Britain, where the Stoke Mandeville Hospital organized competitive sports to rehabilitate injured service members.