By all accounts the 2012 London Paralympic Games were a huge success, well over 2.5 million tickets sold for events (a new record), the crossover of South Africa’s Oscar Pristorius brought the attention of the world to Paralympians when he participated in the Olympic Games.
The world is waking to see Para Athletes as the world class athletes their Olympian brothers and sisters are. Countries are also seeing the potential in these games and the records fall as countries support their disabled athletes with greater funding, one of the reasons that Canada’s Paralympians didn’t come home with the medal count they had in previous Paralympic Games.
Canadians should be proud of our athletes that bring home today (September 10th) 31 medals. We were represented so well by Closing Ceremony Flag bearer and Gold Medal swimmer Benoit Huot, also by Gold Medal winners swimmers Summer Mortimer and Valerie Grand-Maison, the Wheelchair Basketball Gold Medal Winning team, Cyclist Robbi Weldon, and Cycle Sprinter Michelle Stillwell. Our athletes, medallist and all competitors did us all very proud. That their success and accomplishments are even known is something to behold.
For the Olympic Games, the Canadian Broadcast Consortium bombarded us with more than 24/7 coverage of the games with multiple TV outlets showing the events. The Olympics had an outstanding presence on the web through webcasts, live streaming and YouTube videos. They should have saved some of those hours of broadcast for the Paralympics.
The main Canadian Broadcast Consortium did not broadcast any of Paralympics on the main CTV network. TV coverage was punted down to TSN2 and Sportsnet1 in the form of a nightly recap and the two networks traded off the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The coverage given the games on the flagship nightly national news was embarrassing compared to the coverage given to the Olympics. Web coverage was very good, but we all can’t or don’t want to watch our computers all day for this news. Radio coverage was also much reduced.
I relied on the twitter feed of @CDNParalympics and @London2012 for my news on Canadian Athletes. Newspaper coverage was very good. What stood out was the coverage of the next Canadian Olympic broadcaster, the CBC. They provided very good coverage, regularly giving extended news of Canadian and world Paralympians and their accomplishments.
Bell Media and the Broadcast Consortium should be hanging their heads low for the injustice of their sadly lacking coverage of the Paralympics.
The IOC must start demanding and approve broadcast minimums for both the Olympics (which won’t be a problem) and the Paralympics, guaranteeing world class broadcast coverage for both games. If that means less Olympic coverage for better and more Paralympic coverage, I am all for it.
So it is bye bye Bell Media, Rogers and the Broadcast Consortium and hello CBC. I cannot wait to see what you bring to me and all Canadians in 2014 Sochi and 2016 Rio for both the Olympics and Paralympics!
I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings