The 2012 Paralympics are underway in London with last night’s soggy opening ceremonies showing this is hardly a second-rate event!
Interest in the Paralympics has grown significantly since 2008. Ticket sales are in the millions, with spectators lining event routes even on classically-British rainy days. Networks in the UK, Australia, Brazil, and other countries are carrying extensive coverage of Paralympic events. They’re not just showing it, they’re hyping it: We’ve streamed this ad from Britain’s Channel 4 over and over because it’s just gorgeous! Sponsoring companies for both the Olympic and Paralympic games have been spotlighting athletes with and without disabilities in their commercials and print ads throughout both games.
Here in the US, however, NBC will only show four 60-minute wrap-ups and a 90-minute “look-back” special after the games have ended. This is significantly more than in the past, but we’d like to see more.
“We’re not going to jump from nothing to full coverage in the matter of one Games,” said Dana Fink, a 24-year-old Washingtonian who narrowly missed making the U.S. Paralympic rowing team. (Washington Post, Aug 29)
Here are some links to Paralympic coverage online:
- Channel 4 (UK) Paralympic Coverage
- Washington Post.com search
- NY Times Paralympics Topic Page
- NPR Olympic and Paralympic stories
- ESPN search
Are you following the games? Comment below with your favorite event!