I’m delighted to see that Minnesotans, more than anyone else in the United States, have embraced the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Watching our talented athletes is a thrill like few others. Beginning on March 7, viewers will also have an unprecedented opportunity to watch the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games on NBC. The United States has a number of elite athletes competing, including Tatyana McFadden, who won four major wheelchair marathons in 2013 and went on to earn a berth on the U.S. Paralympic Nordic ski team; skier Amy Purdy; snowboarder Evan Strong, and U.S. Army veteran Heath Calhoun. The U.S. sled hockey team is looking to repeat its 2010 gold medal performance, and the U.S. wheelchair curling team is hoping to take home its first medal.

While these athletes compete for the “thrill of victory,” viewership goes a long way to ensuring that Paralympic athletes get the financial support they need to compete through sponsorships and increased awareness. Tune in. You won’t be disappointed.