Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time to Follow the London Paralympics!

The Summer Olympics have come and gone with their usual high profile coverage in the past month. I find the Olympics always fascinating to follow - and how great it was to see so many ads showing Paralympic athletes along with Olympic athletes!

Now, on the eve of the London Paralympics, it has become evident that these will be the biggest Paralympics ever, with over 4000 athletes competing from 160 countries. Almost 2.5 million tickets have been sold already, a likely indicator of a first time sell-out in Paralympic history. Media coverage will be greater than for previous Paralympics and offered in more countries than ever before.

Beginning on Aug. 29 and continuing through the conclusion of the Games on Sept. 9, U.S. Paralympics will provide 10 daily video highlights packages via its U.S. Paralympics YouTube channel. The videos will chronicle the competition, athlete stories and will also include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Videos chronicling the lead-up to the Games are also be available now.

In addition to the online content, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will air one-hour highlight shows on Sept. 4, 5, 6 and 11 at 7 p.m. EDT. Following the Paralympic Games, on Sept. 16, NBC will broadcast a 90 minute special from 2-3:30 p.m. EDT. All NBC and NBC Sports Network Paralympic highlight shows and specials will re-air on Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com.

The IPC, the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement, also recently announced its online coverage plans for the 2012 Paralympic Games, which will include broadcasting 580 hours of live sport from London 2012 on Paralympic.org during the competition.

Some of the athletes I will be following include:

Victoria Arlen of Exeter, NH, a 17 year old swimmer with Transverse Myelitis who broke 2 world records and 10 Pan American and American records at the U.S. Paralympic Trials in Bismarck, ND, this June.

Blake Leeper of Nashville, TN, a 22 year old blade runner who has tied Olympian Oscar Pistorius's world record of 10.91 seconds in the 100m T43 and will be running against him in what may be the most popular event of the 2012 Paralympics.

Anjali Forber-Pratt of Natick, MA, an avid wheelchair racer and eloquent Paralympic ambassador I met last year who has broken all kinds of records and will be competing in her 2nd Paralympics.

Who are your favorite Paralympians???


Phil Dzialo said...

I agree that this is a monumental event and inspiring to both able and disabled. There are two circumstances which mar the event:

1. In the US: LONDON (AP) — This year's Paralympics are expected to draw their largest ever live television audience — except in the United States, where events will receive only minimal coverage and won't be screened as they happen, prompting anger from some fans and campaigners.

2. In England: An unfortunate choice of sites! David Cameron and ATOS are attempting to "cull" over 500,000 disabled Britons from the rolls of Disabiity Living Allowance.

I suppose the positive is you can watch on-line. Some progress and many steps backward for the disability community.

william Peace said...

Any coverage of the Paralympics must include a discussion of Atos sponsorship and resulting protests. I for one would like to know how the International Paralympic Committee decided Atos was an appropriate sponsor. Seems like a slap in the face to the average person with a disability.