Monday, 21 May 2012

2012 Paralympics

Controversial maybe, but I have always viewed the Paralympics as a bit of a B event, a sideshow to the main Olympics and that has always bothered me.
Why not run the Olympic and Paralympic events alongside each other, on the same day and in front of the same crowd i wondered and i am obviously not alone because a Scope Poll showed that almost two-thirds of disabled people think the same thing and want to see the Paralympics merged with the Olympics.
More than half of all Britons polled without disabilities, thought that combining the Olympics and Paralympics would help disabled athletes to be taken more seriously and improve society's views about disabled people.
There, that's sorted then, Britain's Olympic legacy should have been we were the first to combine the two and dispel the myth that disabled athletes are inferior to their able bodied colleagues.
Then i heard the view of Britain's two-time Paralympic champion swimmer Nyree Kindred who argued that 'We have our own identity and we are proud to be Paralympians.'
Another argument against is that with all those extra events, it would become so long, bloated and unwieldy that some events would have to be dropped and it wouldn't be the able bodied events that are swept away.
Both very persuasive arguments but i'm still left with this nagging feeling that the Paralympians get a rough deal when it comes to air time and media headlines and general public support.
Channel 4 has won the rights to broadcast the 2012 Paralympics games and as it has a 200 hour summer gap to fill with the demise of Big Brother, it has promised 150 hours of TV coverage over the 9 days and stated: 'The London Paralympic games will be the main event, not a sideshow to the Olympics.
The games will take over Channel 4 for their duration' so at last, it'll get the coverage it and the paralympians richly deserves.

1 comment:

Cheezy said...

"Why not run the Olympic and Paralympic events alongside each other, on the same day and in front of the same crowd "

I think it's because the crowd would all get up, en masse, and go to the bar for a bit, until the able-bodied athletes came back on. Or else they'd go home.

The plain fact is that the Olympics is all about faster/stronger/higher/further etc, and the Paralympics, bless it, isn't.

It's great to have as an option for people who want to watch these athletes (and they deserve a lot of credit for their efforts) but you can't (or at least you shouldn't) make people watch it. That's not the right way to make it more popular.