November 29 - NBC's new deal to cover the Paralympics means there is an outstanding opportunity for interest in the Games to grow to "new levels" in the United States, it has been claimed.
NBC plans to broadcast 116 hours of combined coverage for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Games.
It follows criticism of their coverage of London 2012 and Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics a the United States Olympic Committee, claims NBC's new partnership is "unique and is significant for the Movement in the US and around the world".
"The fact we sold it out with six sponsors in unique US market is a huge opportunity to create awareness," he told insidethegames.
"The commercial value of that they're going to do is significant in terms of promoting the Paralympics but now the hard work begins and we have to do a great job in making sure Americans tune in and watch the coverage."
Huebner claimed "we're nowhere near finished" and insisted that "great strides" have been made, revealing US awareness in the Paraympics soaring from less than five per cent in 2002 to over 86 per cent today.
Huebner claimed broadcasting deals, together with having "multi-million dollar national media campaigns featuring Paralympians", as a significant component of this growth.
He highlighted athletes as the "drivers who are enhancing awareness for their achievements on and off the field of play."
In particular, he cited the swimmer Brad Snyder who - " a year after being injured in Afghanistan he wins a gold medal in London and the next weekend meets the President" - as well as wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden.
Huebner predicted the US would do better at Sochi 2014 than they did at Vancouver 2010, where they finished sixth overall with 13 medals, including four gold.
"We're very excited about going to Sochi - we were there at the test events and our athletes love the courses and think they are going to be fantastic in terms of accessibility and venue ease," he said.
"Our [ice sledge] hockey team will be competing for a medal, our Alpine and snowboard teams are expected to be very strong, and we're rebuilding our Nordic team where we have 17 of a performance standard today in comparison with just two at Vancouver.
"We're rebuilding, hoping to be competitive and hoping to bring home some medals."
Huebner also dismissed questions that, after poor ticket sales, the Games would be a step back from London 2012, and insisted that "each Games are unique" and "from what we've seen thus far we're really pleased with the planning that's gone on."
He also backed Sir Philip Craven following his re-election as President of the IPC.
"London was phenomenal but now the challenge is to take that to a whole new level," he told insidethegames.
"We feel very strongly that he is the right person to do that - not only in terms of enhancing the programme in the US but also in helping the overall Movement.
"We as the US want to be supportive in helping the Movement grow all over the world."
November 2013: Sir Philip confident Sochi 2014 Paralympic viewing figures will be best ever with 100 days to go
November 2013: American wheelchair racer McFadden makes history with marathon grand slam
September 2013: IPC and NBC announce 116 hours of combined coverage for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016
September 2012: More Paralympics coverage needed in the US says IPC chief following NBC snub
June 2011: Charlie Huebner - There is a lot that I will remember from the 2011 Warrior Games