Monday, 10 September 2012

So the Paralympics

are over as well.
Regular readers of these ramblings will know only too well that I am not interested in sport. It barely gets mentioned. I was not even particularly interested in the Paralympics although I know something about one or two of the competitors.
And I know something else too - all of those who went had to work just as hard, indeed sometimes harder, than any Olympian to get there. Their families and friends had to work much harder too.
You see, they don't get the support Olympians get. They don't get those sports scholarships or the same level of sponsorship or the same level of government funding.
It would be nice but I don't think they expect it.
There is also something else they don't get - and that is the same level of television coverage and public adulation. They barely rated a mention on the news services.
Now I have to confess I did not see the commercial television news services but friends assure me that "they didn't say much - not like the Olympics". I do not doubt them. They apparently could not even get the names of the competitors right at times. It was no different anywhere else. Front page pictures of beaming medal winners? Front page medal talleys? Lead items in the news? Forget it.
Then, yesterday, someone actually said, "Well, it's not the real Olympics is it? Nobody wants to watch people like that. Nobody is going to pay to advertise while that sort of stuff is being shown."
I held my breath. Three more people agreed, a fourth thought it was "a bit tough" to take that attitude. A couple of people shrugged and looked uncomfortable but did not say anything.
So, I said a thing or two. I said it quietly. I did not lose my temper but I said it and then I left before anyone could say anything to me. I don't want them to argue with me. I don't want them to apologise for their attitude. I just want them to think about the effort that some people put into getting to London. It's more effort than any of them have ever made in their lives.


jeanfromcornwall said...

We have had pretty good coverage of the paralympics - well they are in thi country this time. One f the commercial channels has turned virtually its entire schedule over to the games, and used some of the best presenters and commentators. I really hope it has made a difference to how so many people see those with disabilities, at least for while the good memories last.
There is a grand parade to celebrate the medal winners in London today - Olympic and Paralympic.

JO said...

I'm with jeanfromcornwall - things are different here in the UK. The coverage of the paralympics has been as good as for the non-disabled games. There is talk of it changing attitudes to disability - only time will tell if that is true, but it feels a huge step forward.

Sad, if our efforts are not reflected in the coverage of the paralympics across the world.