The Paralympics and Why I Didn’t Watch Them

I wanted to watch the Paralympics, but there’s no way for me to watch them. I don’t have a television, because it is too hard for me to watch things on a screen far away – but even more problematic than that, I live in the United States.

It is because I don’t have a TV that I didn’t realize NBC didn’t show the live footage of the Paralympics, even though they’re the only network in the USA that has the rights to broadcast it. Their 90 minutes of coverage didn’t air until September 16th!

According to the chairman of the IPC the United States is “ready” for the Paralympics. I have a question about that – is there a time when the United States wasn’t?

It’s fascinating to me how on the one hand, everyone calls disabled athletes “inspiring” and looks at them as reasons for able bodied people to not make any excuses (a rhetoric which I find extremely problematic) yet still we are denied any coverage of an important sporting event.

People complained about the lack of coverage for the regular Olympics, they did it all over the web, but I didn’t see much of anything complaining about the Paralympics coverage until very recently. From what I’ve seen from poking the internet, there *was* online coverage, but it wasn’t very well publicized. So with little coverage and even less publicity, I have to draw the conclusion that NBC doesn’t value disabled atheletes.

I am so glad that President Obama greeted Olympians and Paralympians during the reception this September. I only wish that the coverage had been more widespread, and that the publicity had been more widespread.

I wish I could have sat in the sports bar on my block, and watched blind swimmers, and wheelchair using fencers, and cheetah feet wearing runners while I drank a Magners.

But that’s not the country I live in.

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4 Comments

Filed under Disability Issues

4 responses to “The Paralympics and Why I Didn’t Watch Them

  1. Theresa

    You forgot armless archers- which is about the extent of the Paralympics coverage *I* saw…

  2. LKD

    We had them and I didn’t watch them either. I’ve watched them in the past, the swimming and the basketball and the track, because those are sports I participated in as a younger person. If I’d made different choices, I probably could have kept competing, and ended up a Paralympian.

    I say I prefer to follow the commentary, but maybe I don’t watch them because I’m slightly envious.

    My father kept asking his American friends if they saw any coverage and all anyone could come up with was the Ceremonies.

    If you were here, we would have watched them with several Magners!

    • It actually occurred to me that had I continued to compete in competitive swimming, I may have at some point been told to go join the disabled kids.

      I’m not sure how I feel about that. But I think I mostly feel OK about it. 🙂
      And yes, we would have had ALL the Magners. 😛

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