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Paralympics won’t be seen in US

Filed in: accessibility, sports, Fri, Sep 17 2004 17:06 PT

The 2004 Paralympic Games opened today, and will run until September 28. Whether or not you noticed probably depends on what country you’re in.

If you’re in the UK, the BBC is streaming them on the Web (UK only, just like the Olympics), and will have live coverage on BBC Two for 90 minutes a day. In addition, they’re being covered on BBC Five Live radio, which streams live on the Web.

If you’re in Canada, you’ll be able to catch an hour or two of Paralympics broadcasting each day on CBC, according to their Paralympics site.

If you’re in the United States?

Nothing. Not a single minute of dedicated Paralympics coverage. The USA Paralympic site reports that American coverage is “non-existent”. And not from lack of trying. They say they tried securing a broadcast with several networks.

Now, if I remember correctly, NBC broadcast the Olympic Games at the same site on seven networks: the flagship, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, USA, Telemundo, and their HDTV network. They proudly proclaimed that there would be over 1200 hours of Olympic coverage. I wonder how proud they should be now that equally deserving athletes now get no coverage of their Games, simply because of the stigma attached to their disabilities.

This is outrageous. Time was, maybe you’d get to see an hour-long wrap-up of the Paralympics after they were all over, which in and of itself isn’t particularly generous, but this year, we won’t even see that. It is shameful to see NBC give the lie to its own claims that the Games are about the athletes, and their triumphs over adversity. Now we see that’s only when it’s grossly profitable. Otherwise, they can’t be bothered. It’s always sad when reality strikes like this.

2 responses to “Paralympics won’t be seen in US”

  1. It’s strange how something you speak of as “sad” makes a kind of tears (mostly inside) that come with anger. I’m so busy veiling outrage with optimism and tales of how far we’ve come.

    Devaluation is the paramour of pity: the first step to the gas chambers. One commenter (Frank Leany aka “grumpy conservative”) on Larry Lessig’s blog says “Supporting Kerry is like competing in the Special Olympics–even if you win, you’re still a retard”.

    Of course we all get to hear a lot of mean shit, some of it actually in-group playful like the use of “broad” by feminists, etc. and I don’t ordinarily harbor a lot of “Political Correctness” feelings, but devaluing pejoratives still tend to sicken me. This one made me sad in the sense Matt meant in this entry.


  2. SEO News says:

    There is something severly wrong with the US Media. I would compare the lack of coverage to someone pretending not to see a person in a wheelchair beause it makes them uncomfortable. Very sad…

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