By Orge Castellano
Last night, the 2018 Winter Olympics came to a spectacular end and while we will miss the competitions and the athlete’s performances, the feats of athleticism and the greatness aren’t over just yet. The 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang are around the corner, starting March 9th and they promise to deliver even more ice- and snow-filled inspiration than ever before.
We are greatly honoured to be part of this remarkable experience once again. For the fourth time our team of journalists and photographers are heading to the Paralympics, this year in South Korea to cover the Games. Through our images and stories we will portray the strength, determination and courage of the US Paralympic Team.
For the second time, the Paralympics will be hosted in South Korea. In 1988 the games for the first time in history took place right after the Olympics sharing the same venues and host.
With over 570 athletes from 49 countries, The 2018 Winter Paralympic Games is set to be the largest games in their history according to organizers. The games are scheduled to run from March 9th to the 18th featuring 5 venues located 115 miles East of Seoul, and includes other sub-host cities nearby.
Events span 10 days for a total of 80 medal events competing across six sports: Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Ice sled hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling. Disciplines include all the usual suspects, from the many variations of downhill and slalom skiing to snowboard cross and more.
As for our media team, this year we come with an incredible team consisting of a diverse group of individuals from different backgrounds, all who share a common factor: their dedication and love for journalism, sports, and most importantly: their passion for the Paralympic movement and its social inclusion.
Meet our incredible volunteers:
Orge Castellano is a journalist who has participated in several international multi-sport events throughout his career. He’s covered the Olympics, the Paralympic games and worked for the International Judo Federation in various cups around Eastern Europe. With an insatiable thirst for culture and politics, Orge is an avid reader and writer. Currently, he is undergoing his PhD studies in Journalism at the University of the Basque Country in Spain.
Michael Clubine He is the WSF Media team lead for the 2018 and 2016 Paralympic Games, as well as a contributing photographer at the 2014 and 2016 Paralympic Games, in Sochi and Rio respectively. Michael is a freelance photographer with a passion for capturing the excitement of a moment. He has covered the Open tennis tournament and the 2015 World Sled Hockey Championships. When he’s not busy photographing adaptive sports, Michael focuses his lens on runway fashion, covering New York Fashion Week, as well as shows from leading bridal, swimwear and children fashion designer.
Vandana Sood-Giddings completed her Masters in Mass Communication from New Delhi, India and has an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College, CUNY. She is an independent documentary filmmaker who has worked for several companies like MTV, FOX’s Beliefnet, PBS and the WHO. She teaches yoga, does freelance journalism and social media strategy for various clients.
Josh Eisenberg is documentarian, teacher and is a man who loves his sports. He was the sports beat writer for the Hunts Point Express in 2016-2017 and he covered baseball and soccer. Josh excited and is looking forward to covering the Sled Hockey team at this year’s Paralympics in South Korea, as he is a huge hockey fan. He expects the games to be fun and exciting every step of the way, while writing articles that will make America proud.
Matthew Gephart lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is spending his third year with the WSF team after working in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Paralympics. Contributing as a writer for the WSF has allowed Matthew to soar to new heights ever since leaving Penn State in 2007 with a telecommunications degree and minor in theatre. Matthew has spent time writing for various sports outlets and is excited to bring his talents to another year of the Paralympic Games. Looking forward to the Sled Hockey’s quest for back-to-back gold’s is on Matthew’s list of things to watch in Pyeongchang this year. For his day job, Matthew works for MLB Advanced Media.
Danny Chin is a freelance editorial and commercial photographer based out of New York City. From the fashion runways of New York City to remote island photoshoots in Thailand, Danny’s ambition is to capture and freeze a continuously moving world. When not occupied with his camera, he enjoys traveling and trying new foods.
The countdown begins!
To learn more about the Wheelchair Sports Federation, please visit: http://wheelchairsportsfederation.org/