The paralympic games are fantastic. I really do like them because they provide opportunities in sport and competition that not many other things can come close. Yes, I’ve competed at them myself (back in the year 2000 in Sidney) and I know from this that it was an experience that could not be surpassed.
As the paralympics get into full swing, it is good to see that the coverage from both channel 4 and the bbc has expanded this year and become much more comprehensive. I was really happy to hear this morning on local news about further success from local paralympions. This was not the last story though, but was the main item of the main 9 o’clock news.
Channel 4 have taken up the television coverage under the slogan ‘super humans’. Interesting, as they want to attract viewers to watch their output. Apparently, the advertising campaign has won many plaudits (as per their 2012 london Paralympic coverage did). My thought though is that any athlete who competes a such high levels are super human – never mind if they are paralympions or olympions; there certainly should be no differentiation made.
There have also been strong arguments for paralympic sports to be integrated into the main olympic games to give due respect to the competitors and to put them on the same profile level as all high class sports people. I get this and think this is a very strong argument to do exactly what it says. However, I’m not sure it will happen and maybe if it did, paralympic events would become secondary to the olympic ones? By having a seperate games, the chance to profile paralympic athletes is out there on its own and therefore there woudl be a greater opportunity to shine.
In my next article, I will look at the issue of paralympic legacy and what this could do for a greater and more realistic understanding of disability and more specifically of visual impairement.