After having won two gold medals for swimming in past Paralympic Games, Justin Zook of Plymouth, Minn. is back in London this week to compete in the 2012 games.
The games have already sold about 2.4 million tickets, according to organizers.
"I wasn't really expecting the huge turnout," Zook told Tom Crann of MPR's All Things Considered. "Swimming is actually one of the events that's completely sold out for the entire ten day competition."
Zook said Team USA's athletes, including other Minnesotans, are staying in the Paralympic Village.
"I've made a lot of friends, so it's nice to get out and be able to talk to some people who I haven't seen in a couple months, or a couple years for that matter," Zook said.
After the last Paralympic Games, Zook was questioning whether to continue his intense training schedule. But then he was offered a position coaching young children in Plymouth.
"It really bring you back to the reason you got started in the sport to begin with," Zook said. "Although this is obviously an amazing experience, the reason I got started wasn't just to attend the Paralympic Games, it was because I love the sport of swimming."
The Paralympic Games opened with a ceremony Wednesday night at London's Olympic Stadium.