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U.S. Paralympians sent off to Beijing on Delta charter from Los Angeles

Plane alone

U.S. Paralympians departed for the Winter Games on a Delta charter from Los Angeles on Friday, one week before the Opening Ceremony.

The Games run from March 4-13.

The 67-athlete team for the Paralympic Games includes 22 returning gold medalists. The roster is led by four-time champion Oksana Masters (Nordic skiing) and three-time champions Josh Pauls (hockey) and Kendall Gretsch (Nordic skiing).

Masters and Gretsch own gold medals from both the Summer and Winter Games.

In 2018, the U.S. topped the Winter Paralympic standings in total medals (36) and gold medals (13) for the first time since 1992.

The Winter Paralympics feature 78 medal events across six sports -- Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, snowboarding, hockey and curling -- with more than 700 athletes expected to compete from around the world.

NBC Universal will air more than 230 hours of Winter Paralympic programming, including a record 120 TV hours.

Coverage includes three hours on primetime, a first for the Winter Paralympics.

USA Network will air the Opening and Closing Ceremonies live. USA and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air daily TV coverage. and the NBC Sports app will add comprehensive live streaming. All events and competition will also stream on Peacock.

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