Paralympic Opening Fireworks
Fireworks erupt over Fisht Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, March 7, 2014.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 10, 2013) -- The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games opened Friday with a ceremony called "Breaking the Ice," honoring the strength of human spirit.

Staff Sgt. Jen Lee, a goalie for the USA sled hockey team, was among athletes at Fisht Olympic Stadium and the sports complex along the Black Sea where the closing of the XXII Olympic Winter Games took place just 12 days earlier.

At the Paralympics Opening Ceremony, spectators watched a two-hour performance about the power of the human spirit overcoming obstacles to limitless potential. Center to the story was a mythical firebird that linked all scenes of the show, which included 150 performers with physical impairments, along with popular Russian opera singers and entertainers.

The USA Sled Hockey Team competed first against Italy, Saturday, winning 5-1. USA then went on to beat Korea Sunday, 3-0.

NBC and NBCSN will provide eight hours of sled hockey coverage, including Team USA vs. Russia on March 11, at 3 p.m. (ET) on NBCSN. Live coverage of the semifinal games will air March 13 on NBCSN, with the first game beginning at 5 a.m. (ET) and the second game at noon. The sled hockey final will air on NBC March 15 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Team USA is led by Captain Andy Yohe, who was a member of the USA squad that won gold in Vancouver, and goaltender Steve Cash, who did not allow a single goal in five games in Vancouver.

The team also boasts four military veterans, including active duty Soldier Lee, with the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, who serves as the back-up goalie.

Other veterans on the USA sled hockey team include purple-heart recipients Paul Schaus, a Marine Corps vet; Josh Sweeney, another Marine veteran; and Rico Roman, an Army veteran.

Page last updated Mon March 10th, 2014 at 11:59