But when I talk about it to friends and family abroad, I draw a blank, they have very little idea about it.
Murderball, (wheelchair rugby), is truly awesome.
Is anyone else excited?
Or is everyone else just interested in the mainstream Olympians?
I was fortunate enough to see a few events in Sydney 2000.
On watchability the Olympics and PAralympics form a venn diagram with two strongly overlapping circles, and only a few outliers in either is not worth admission price. MUrderball is perhaps the most spectacular, but track and field generally was riveting.
In the USA, the Paralympics gets little mention, and what little mention it does get is limited to track & field (athletics) athletes that have been seen elsewhere - for example, Oscar Pistorius and wheelchair marathoner Tatyana McFadden. I have a feeling most people here would confuse it with the Special Olympics.
Up through 2012, TV coverage in the USA consisted pretty much of a three-hour “highlights show” airing about a month after the Paralympics took place; however, this year, NBC (well, mainly its main cable sports channel, NBC Sports Network) is supposed to have 66 hours of coverage.
I’m trying to find a nice way to say this, but really 66 hours across a 12 day program with dozens of simultaneous events seems fucking pathetic ( and then I saw the comment about being limited to a highlights show).
The Superhumans ad above, and the first from 2012 really just hint at how good it is as spectacle
I couldn’t get tickets to the Olympics in London in 2012, so went to the much cheaper Paralympics instead, loved it, and now find it much more interesting to watch than the regular Olympics. It’s not something that comes up much in conversation with friends but then neither does the regular Olympics so you can’t take much from that.
UK Channel 4 has released its advert for the Paralympics, and it is something amazing. The 2012 advert was breathtaking, but this one moves it to another level. It’s less about the Paralympics as sport spectacle than about changing attitudes towards disability.
Does anyone know why, in some events, athletes who are missing one or more limbs compete against athletes who appear to have no such disabilities?
Also, the coverage of the Paralympics is either atrocious, or I’m really bad at figuring out how to watch it.
Depending on the requirements of the sport, participants are assessed based on the effect their particular disability may have on the level of performance, so that different types of physical disability may be rated as equivalent. That is why you may see someone with no lower legs competing against someone with only one arm, and people with disabilities form birth competing against those who suffered trauma or illness later in life.
That article explains the classifications well, but I don’t really feel like it explains why someone with an A1 disability (bilateral amputation above the knee) is allowed to compete in the same race as someone with an A2 disability (unilateral amputation above the knee)? Wouldn’t the athlete who still had one good leg have an advantage? Like, they may or may not on the track, given how the technology has advanced on those blades, but I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t in the pool?
Also, if you thought that the Olympic coverage was bad, and US-centric, you’ll really hate the Paralympic coverage. There are no online replays, as near as I’ve discovered, and if you wanted to see a highlight of an event that an American is not competitive in, fuhgeddaboutit!