The Paralympic Games begin in London tomorrow night, without any of the fuss or media fanfare which accompanied the Olympics at the beginning of the month.

Watch out London, Kurt Fearnley's rolling into town. Photo: AP

Disabled athletes are being robbed of the spotlight. Olympic broadcasters Foxtel and Channel Nine are not even showing the Paralympics, leaving the ABC to run a few hours of daily highlights instead.

Our Paralympians must be used to being ignored and undervalued. At the televised Olympic swimming trials earlier this year, disabled athletes were forced to compete during the ad breaks. How insulting is that?

They deserve better. These people are just as worthy of our respect and admiration as any other Olympic athlete. It takes a special kind of mental strength to win a Paralympic marathon with a flat tyre, as Kurt Fearnley did in Athens.

The nine-time Paralympic medallist trekked the Kokoda Trail too, and won the New York Marathon after breaking a rib midrace. For athletes whose stories are usually classed as “feel-good”, these guys spend an awful lot of time feeling bad.

At the moment, Paralympians must compete weeks after the Olympics have ended, when public excitement has abated and most of the media pack has left. That is unfair. It would be far better to integrate disabled events into the main Olympic schedule.

Everyone would get to share the same stage and Paralympians would finally be given the sort of attention that they deserve.

The logistics would be simple enough. In athletics, for instance, Olympic events usually run for several hours in the morning and 90 minutes or so in the evening. Organisers have more than enough time to run Paralympic races in between.

If it’s possible to bring disabled athletes into the Olympics, and it is, then there is no question that it should be done. These people have worked just as hard as anyone, and their achievements should be properly recognised.

Some of Australia’s most successful athletes are Paralympians. Why should James Magnussen get more attention than a disabled swimmer like Matthew Cowdrey, who has already won eight gold medals? Looking crash hot in Speedos should only get you so far.

Plenty of spectators would be more than keen to watch disabled athletes in action, given the chance. Paralympic tickets in London are expected to sell out, with well over two million sold already.

Yet many in the media still seem to assume that nobody is interested. As a result, our Paralympians continue to be short-changed.

That needs to stop. Let disabled athletes compete in their own events during the Olympics, not weeks later when everyone has stopped caring. They’ve earned the right to be on the same stage as everyone else.

Comments on this piece will close at 8pm AEST

Most commented

74 comments

Show oldest | newest first

    • Gregg says:

      06:13am | 28/08/12

      Even if there was the possibility of fitting the paralympic events smoothly into daily schedules which I somehow doubt, there is going to be a lot more involved, more competitors and officials to be housed at the one time, more drug testing and then let us not forget those spectators for as you say
      ” Plenty of spectators would be more than keen to watch disabled athletes in action, given the chance. Paralympic tickets in London are expected to sell out, with well over two million sold already. “

      Even though the London Olympics had ticketting issues with some sports, the crush of ticketting with a combination could see problems arising.

    • scott says:

      09:20am | 28/08/12

      Why are we treating disabled atheletes differently?  It’s discriminatory!  The only way we will have true equality is if the disabled atheletes competed directly with able bodied atheletes. 

      And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of the men and women’s events and have each athelete compete against each other.  Let the best person on the day win.

    • Richard says:

      12:33pm | 28/08/12

      If we can’t run them together, why not run one straight way after the other and not days later . To show our respect for the Paralympians run these games first and then the professional games. After all a true sports sports enthusiast would not see any problem with that

    • Super D says:

      06:34am | 28/08/12

      It’s hard to rebut this article while maintaining a politically correct stance. Now let me start by saying I have the utmost respect for the efforts that paralympians put in and I think the games are great in terms of providing goals for the disabled. If I had a family member or friend who was a paralympian I would be there biggest fan. I don’t know anyone involved so I won’t be watching. It just seems a bit morbid to me. Almost like using the disabled for entertainment. It just feels a bit wrong. Like every medal is a consolation prize. It’s just that no one able bodied ever dreams of Paralympic gold. This isn’t to say its no achievement, just that most boys fantasize about being the fastest, not the fastest on one leg or in a wheelchair or whatever other category is available. And this pretty much explains the lack of commercial media interest. Basically no one cares. Harsh but true.

    • Gregg says:

      08:05am | 28/08/12

      Gee SuperD, you’ve got all Oxymoronic there
      ” I have the utmost respect for the efforts that paralympians put in and I think the games are great in terms of providing goals for the disabled. If I had a family member or friend who was a paralympian I would be there biggest fan. I don’t know anyone involved so I won’t be watching. “
      And then more morbid yourself:
      ” It just seems a bit morbid to me. Almost like using the disabled for entertainment. It just feels a bit wrong. Like every medal is a consolation prize. It’s just that no one able bodied ever dreams of Paralympic gold. “

      Your last sentence in that bit may well be true for I doubt that any ablebodied person dreams of being otherwise and will never have an inkling of what their life would be like unless something happens to make it so.
      And then a bit guilty are you?
      ” This isn’t to say its no achievement, “

      ” just that most boys fantasize about being the fastest, not the fastest on one leg or in a wheelchair or whatever other category is available. And this pretty much explains the lack of commercial media interest. Basically no one cares. “

      Some of that is also true but fortunately many people do care.
      Personally, I think the paralympics show enormous courage in what they achieve and it is far from being morbid.
      If you want achievment, you only have to look at the blade runner guy in the 400 metres at the Olympics.
      I knew of a lad who had lost one leg in a motor cycle accident and he was a 400 runner with one artificial leg, his times very competitive and would likely be better than most able bodied fellas, certainly better than me but that would not be too hard to do.

      I do not think it is that people do not care but more the practicalities of merging the two, the politics of two separate organisations being another issue.
      As for media coverage, it is just a sad fact of life that it would seem accepted by major media that there will be enough who do not care that added to those who do not even care for the Olympics and those already Olympiced out, the commerciality of it is the ratings and advertising income.

    • Shep says:

      08:37am | 28/08/12

      I think that you very eloquently voiced how many feel but will never admit.  It is very much a case of “there but for the grace of god ...”

      We are proud and hopefully supportive, and admiring of their personal courage in the face of adversity, but unless we are personally involved in someway it does not have the same relevance as watching the worlds best compete.

    • Phillb says:

      09:59am | 28/08/12

      Gotta say I disagree with pretty much everything you wrote.  I would rather watch an athlete that has had to overcome the odds then someone who has been bankrolled to the Olympics.  Watch the doco Murderball about wheelchair rugby.  I can only hope my son grows up to have half the guts those guys do.

    • Groo says:

      01:24pm | 28/08/12

      Of course the networks are ignoring it. Media barons are mostly fascists at heart and if Nazi Germany taught us anything it’s that untermenschen are real!

    • G says:

      06:35am | 28/08/12

      I know what I’m about to say is politically incorrect and I’m going to cop a barrage of abuse, but I’m going to be bluntly honest. I don’t care for the Paralympics. And I love the the Olympics and sport in general, but I just can’t get interested in the Paralympics.

      If the Paralympics had blanket coverage like the Olympics it would annoy me as I’d want normal programming returned. If they ran Paralympic events in place of ad breaks during the Olympics I’d use they time as an ad break and go and get a beer or a log for the fire, it just doesn’t interest me. Sure I’ll glance at the medal tally over the coming weeks and see that Australia’s doing well and probably think to myself that’s because we’re one of about only ten PC countries that care about this event, but that’s about it.

      Whilst I appreciate the hard work and talent of the athletes, and I wish them well, I just can’t get interested, sorry I just can’t help it.

    • Budz says:

      08:38am | 28/08/12

      You just summarised my thoughts. You can’t force people to care and therefore follow the paralympics. Clearly people don’t care that much about it, otherwise it would get sponsors and TV coverage.
      This is the same as people complaining about women’s sports. If people cared (including women) , they would get sponsorship and TV coverage. It is also like expecting the state championships for example in swimming to get coverage.
      Sponsorship and TV coverage is based on demand. No/low demand =  no sponsorship/ TV coverage.

    • I, Claudia says:

      09:47am | 28/08/12

      I just find it amusing that you slop yourself in front of your TV every night, but object to seeing paralympians on the screen. I-R-O-N-Y.

    • I, Claudia says:

      09:47am | 28/08/12

      I just find it amusing that you slop yourself in front of your TV every night, but object to seeing paralympians on the screen. I-R-O-N-Y.

    • Tim says:

      10:20am | 28/08/12

      Claudia,
      is that an Alanis Morrisette type Irony?

    • Ando says:

      11:02am | 28/08/12

      I, Claudia ,
      He never said he objected , everyone I know sits down to watch television and his statement was not ironic at all.
      I assume you never miss a paralympics event.

    • Shane says:

      11:22am | 28/08/12

      I don’t care about the paralympics either.  To me it would be like watching women’s football.  The game is there but it’s just not quite got what it takes.

      Good on them for competing, and good on them for winning, but I simply don’t care, and will actively avoid all coverage of the paralympics.

    • Sync says:

      06:37am | 28/08/12

      The other issue is funding: Paralympians have to largely raise their own funds to simply arrive at the Paralympics; they don’t get the government throwing millions upon millions at them as able-bodied athletes do.

      Running a 100 meter sprint in 12 seconds? Not a huge achivement. Try doing it with one natural leg and one artifical leg, though - it becomes a huge achievement. Swimming with one arm - I’d like to see Michael Phelps to that (not that I’m wishing it upon him).

      In terms of human achievement, I’d put the Paralympians over the Olympians any day. They work far harder on pushing human limits.

    • TimB says:

      06:37am | 28/08/12

      So your solution to Paralympians being overshadowed by the Olympics its to run the events *during* the Olympics when viewers are most likely going to be distracted by the main olympics? Yeah, good plan.

      I would think that airing them seperately gives the Paralympics more time to shine on it’s own. The issue is that people simply aren’t interested. Is that an indictment on viewers? Possibly. But it’s the reality of the situation unfortunately.

      Perhaps more focus should be put upon promoting the Paralympics in their own right in order to rectify the situation, rather than trying to split the main Olympic audience.

    • Tim says:

      07:37am | 28/08/12

      Yep exactly.
      And he doesn’t even take into account the logistics of the events. Due to the nature of the disabilities, there are more events at the paralympics for different levels of impairment. 
      Where are you supposed to fit them in and at what venues? Somehow I don’t think people would appreciate a month or longer Olympics.

      As for tv coverage, well sorry its all about the ratings. Its fantastic courage by those involved but most people don’t like watching disabled people compete, the same way they don’t like watching 4th grade footy.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:50am | 28/08/12

      Agreed TimB, just one thing. I wouldn’t say it is an indictment on viewers. People want to watch sports at their top level, and the paralympics is not the top level, obviously. If people aren’t interested, it doesn’t make them bad people. I absolutely respect what they’re doing but I won’t be watching because it doesn’t interest me in the least, not because I’m a bad person. It seems a few people here think that if you don’t like the paralympics you’re an evil hell spawn. Those people need to get over themselves.

    • TimB says:

      01:47pm | 28/08/12

      Haha, yes Admiral, I agree totally. Just trying to be diplomatic smile .

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      02:42pm | 28/08/12

      Hehe, you’re more polite than I TimB.

    • Justme says:

      06:43am | 28/08/12

      Totally agree. My kids (aged 8 and 11) have already asked me why The Paralympics is held at a different time and why Foxtel isn’t having a Paralympic channel when they created 8 entire channels for the Olympics. Sadly there is no sensible answer that i can give them. We would watch Paralympics in a heartbeat.

    • Budz says:

      08:40am | 28/08/12

      Well I can tell you what to tell them.
      “Dear sons/daughters, even though we would like to watch the Paralympics, a majority of people aren’t interested by it, and because of that they don’t show it because it is very expensive to broadcast and they would lose a lot of money.”
      I would also try and explain the basics of supply vs demand and how capitalism works, but it may be a little bit beyond them.

    • D head says:

      01:28pm | 28/08/12

      @bud . I pity your kids if u have them but they’ll grow up like u I suppose. at least they’ll know they’re not people but units of output.

    • gnome says:

      03:48pm | 28/08/12

      In truth, there are several sensible answers you can give them, just no politically correct ones.

    • Nathan says:

      06:45am | 28/08/12

      Yes they have a break but when would they set the venues up in particular athletics? The time is used for many different things such as preping for events, cleaning etc. Don’t you think that they would just be even more over shadowed than they are now as a stand alone event?

    • Little Joe says:

      06:56am | 28/08/12

      Kurt Fearnley ..... what a legend!!!

      Keep them separate ..... let them shine!!!

      I am if Oscar Pistorius is allowed to run in both events??

      Ps. I saw some media advertising for the ABC Paralympics ..... there didn’t appear to be any ex-Paralympians in the Commentary Team. It will be a real shame if there isn’t!!!

    • Steve says:

      07:03am | 28/08/12

      There is a problem with logistics of having to accommodate twice as many people.  The Olympics already costs way too much to host.  Increasing the the athlete and support staff accommodation to cope with the increase would price the Olympics out of reach of most cities.  However in the past there have been a few events which have been run during the normal olympics like the 1500M wheelchair event.  That might be one way to achieve more recognition during the normal Olympics.

    • Little Joe says:

      09:54am | 28/08/12

      Stop it Steve ... you are presenting a mature informed argument!!!

      “No, no no!!!” they cry. “You shouldn’t worry about the cost!!!

    • KH says:

      07:16am | 28/08/12

      I’m not sure why there is such a big distance between the two - if it started immediately after the Olympics then maybe there would be more impact.  Maybe if you advertised it like channel 4 in Britain, people would be interested.  This is probably the best ad ever made for the paralympics.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKTamH__xuQ

    • gobsmack says:

      07:19am | 28/08/12

      No.
      When I watch the Olympics, I do so to watch those who can run fastest, jump highest, etc..
      Apart from the wheelchair races, there is virtually no entertainment value in watching disabled people playing sport.  If there were, the television channels would be televising these events.
      “Disabled athletes are being robbed of the spotlight.”
      They’re not being “robbed” of anything.  They didn’t have this in the first place.  In fact the Paralympics is an exercise in social engineering to foist on to the public something they would rather not watch.

    • HC says:

      08:22am | 28/08/12

      Umm have you ever watched wheelchair basketball?  Those guys go out there and try to kill each other for the ball smile  it’s f***ing awesome and an able-bodied basketball player wouldn’t last 10 seconds before needing a wheelchair himself tongue laugh small wonder it’s nicknamed murderball smile

      Give me some of the Paralympic sports over their regular Olympic counterparts any day.  I don’t really give a f**k about the inspirational stories or anything I just love the competition which is more true to the Olympic spirit (especially having amateurs instead of professionals compete) than the ‘real’ Olympics are these days.

    • Tim says:

      08:52am | 28/08/12

      HC,
      that’s Wheelchair Rugby not Wheelchair Basketball.

    • HC says:

      10:16am | 28/08/12

      Ah my mistake

      Not much difference between the two to the uninformed eye though, both still violent as all hell and very enjoyable to watch   smile

    • Ando says:

      11:21am | 28/08/12

      Hc,
      I agree that murder ball is a serious competition and a good sport but we are talking about mass appeal and whether we should force it on the viewer against normal commercial considerations .How often do you go and watch it.? Whats your favorite team? Do you think it should get equal billing with the AFL and NRL?

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:59am | 28/08/12

      “an able-bodied basketball player wouldn’t last 10 seconds before needing a wheelchair himself”

      That’s just silly, of course they would. Alternatively, a wheel chair basketball player wouldn’t last any time on an able-bodied basketball court because well, you’re not allowed a wheel chair on a freaking basketball court. Your argument is just, wow.

    • adie says:

      04:03pm | 28/08/12

      I played wheelchair basketball for a bit a few years ago.  Im able bodied, but the opportunity came up to have a go, so i did.  The teams were made up of a mixture of people with dodgy knees, people missing limbs, paraplegics, and people with no physical body issues.

      It was so hard!  The people who play it appear nuts.  I constantly had bruising on my shins from being ran into.

      I was exhausted after 10 minutes of wheelchair basketball.  its not easy.

    • M says:

      08:09am | 28/08/12

      So we didn’t win enough medals and now we’re concentrating on the B-team?

    • Suzanne says:

      08:10am | 28/08/12

      Impossible to run both together, with all the support teams needed for both, and if they did, obe would drown out the other

    • mark says:

      10:23am | 28/08/12

      if channel 9 showed the wheelchair rugby instead of rythmic gymnastics, the ratings would have been sky high.

    • KH says:

      02:08pm | 28/08/12

      @mark - Channel 9 could have broadcast dead air and it would be more interesting than ‘rhythmic gymnastics’............or any sport with the word ‘synchronised’ in it….......

    • Mal says:

      08:14am | 28/08/12

      Wrong Ant.  As if Channel 9 would have given it the time of day.  As it is, ABC 2 is showing the morning sessions (evening our time) live in prime time and ABC 1 the evening sessions as were waking up (again also live).  Hardly just a few hours of highlights.

    • Mal says:

      08:49am | 28/08/12

      Apologies, it was Samuel not Ant, but the argument it still wrong.

    • Sportsfan says:

      08:15am | 28/08/12

      Nah, the paralympians have it better off. They won’t be hounded by the freakshow at channel 9 after every event.
      It will be impossible for the ABC’s coverage to be worse than Channel 9’s.

    • Paul says:

      09:39am | 28/08/12

      The ABC could broadcast the event in black and white on 24 hour delay and still provide a better coverage than Channel 9

    • Justin of Earlwood says:

      08:30am | 28/08/12

      The same arguments are often made about coverage of women’s sport.

      The fact is that you can’t make people watch things. If they want to watch, they will. The paralympics will have a strong, loyal, but ultimately relatively small audience. Commercial broadcasters can’t justify screening things if the ratings aren’t there.

      It’s no different to the AFL being on 7Mate in the North & the NRL being on GEM in the South.

      Why not take the opposite approach? It wasn’t very long ago that the paralympics got next to no coverage. Now it does, & contrary to the “highlights coverage” jibe in the article, ABC2 is having 4 hrs live coverage each night. It’s getting more coverage than it ever has.

    • Null and Void says:

      08:47am | 28/08/12

      Pity there isn’t a Wanker Olympics. Most of you already qualified with your disgusting and disgraceful opinions. Equality should be mandatory when it comes to coverage and support although I’m not sure about the logistics of having more athletes there as I am not an organiser of the Olympics so I’m not sure whether it would work. Every effort should be made to integrate it more. At least the Paralympics involve people who aren’t egotistical morons. They’re way more inspiring.

    • Dorothy Dogood says:

      09:30am | 28/08/12

      Agreed, and there should be no winners or losers and everyone should get a medal because there are feelings and self esteem at stake here. By the way, definately no handstands, cartwheels or somersaults events.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      12:10pm | 28/08/12

      “Equality should be mandatory when it comes to coverage and support”

      Why? Are you going to make people take interest in things that they otherwise wouldn’t be interested in? What an ignorant comment.

    • M says:

      12:40pm | 28/08/12

      Hahahahahahaha, equality should be mandatory should it? Especially when it comes to sports that no one watches and no one really gives a rats about? Channel 9 should be forced to air something that’s not going to bring in any advertising dollars just cause you’re afraid that someone’s feelings might get hurt?

      Lol. You’re the wanker mate.

    • Tim says:

      01:16pm | 28/08/12

      I fully agree,
      Why doesn’t my local third grade Tiddlywinks competition get equal billing with the NRL and AFL.

      It’s blatant discrimination I tells ya.

    • kilroy 3.0 says:

      08:47am | 28/08/12

      Well I don,t know about you people but I will not be watching until Steve Austin or Jamie Sommers comes out of retirement. If you can have blade runners then i want to see the bionic man and woman thanks.  You will see some records broken then.  On a more serious side I am wondering how far you can go with artificial aids assisting athletes I mean if you allow disable people use them than you have to let able body use them take for example Usain Bolt with blades on the end of his able body legs.

    • Arthur says:

      08:57am | 28/08/12

      What, have we run out of hair brained socialist ideas?

    • Arthur says:

      09:01am | 28/08/12

      .....................“Why not run the Olympics and Paralympics together?”................

      What for?

      Don’t we want to see the fastest, strongest, skillful human? That’s why we watch it.

    • Phillb says:

      10:05am | 28/08/12

      Actually I wold prefer to watch the toughest, hardest, most courageous athletes but that is just me.

    • Channel 4 says:

      09:36am | 28/08/12

      Channel 4 (UK) full Paralympics coverage. BBC radio five live.

      Australia hates disabled people, we do nothing for them which is why we are 17th our of 17 OECD countires as a place to live if you are disabled. Officially worse place in the world to be disabled. The best is the UK.

    • Paul S says:

      10:11am | 28/08/12

      Perhaps. Although there’s actually 34 countries in the OECD. And another 170-odd other less developed countries so I’m quite sure we wouldn’t be ‘Officially worst place in the world to be disabled’. I think I’d rather take my chances with the Australian health system than many other countries on that list too.

    • AdamC says:

      10:37am | 28/08/12

      Yikes, @Channel 4, what a negativity festival. Ever considered that the Brits are televising the Paralympics in great detail because they are home games?

    • Jess says:

      11:23am | 28/08/12

      Also the AIS doesn’t discriminate against disabled atheletes. Same facilities and services for all atheletes. 

      NDIS will also increase our standing in that aspect of the OECD

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      09:39am | 28/08/12

      Why stop there? We should hold the Junior Olympics, the Master Games and the World Police and Fire Games at the same time. I mean, they all star people who couldn’t make a regular Olympic semi-final in a billion years. Anything else would be discriminatory. Or does no one really care about those games?

    • gobsmack says:

      12:26pm | 28/08/12

      How dare you.

      You forgot the Gay and Lesbian Olympics.

    • LeonT says:

      09:43am | 28/08/12

      The media fanfare is a response to public interest in the Olympics, it does not cause it.

      I know you’re studying to be a journalist and people view things through their own profession, but seriously, to be “properly recognised” isn’t the same thing as being televised.

    • Lilly says:

      09:45am | 28/08/12

      Meh bugger the seperate events. I want to see them compete together. Like the South African runner on his prosthetic legs in London. If he is fast enough to compete against able bodied athletes then I’m sure he’s not the only one. And make sports like murder ball and wheelchair sprints open to everyone as well. It would be awesome and exactly what the Olympics claims it is about, friendship, peace, glory etc.

    • Joe says:

      01:59pm | 28/08/12

      Oscar Pistorius is the only one. He is so far ahead of without her people with his disability (in the 100m, 200m and 400m) that he has to compete against able-bodied people in order to have any competition.

    • Phillb says:

      09:51am | 28/08/12

      In a choice between watching athletes who have worked hard their whole life to get where they are through some pretty amazing circumstance or a bunch of spoiled brats who took representing Australia as granted I know which ones I would prefer to watch.  Yes, I know most of our athletes weren’t like that but the ones that were gave a pretty bad memory.
      Honestly, I would prefer to watch the Paralympics then the Olympics and see no reason why they shouldn’t get just as much airtime on TV on ran at the same time.

    • Tim says:

      10:25am | 28/08/12

      “no reason why they shouldn’t get just as much airtime on TV on ran at the same time. “

      Who’s going to fund it?

      Face it, you’re in the minority, I can appreciate the effort that Paralympians have gone to but it just isn’t that good to watch when compared to other sport.

      Note that a vast majority of the able bodied Olympics also wasn’t that good to watch either yet no one is whinging that the the syncronised swimming didn’t get equal coverage.

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      10:29am | 28/08/12

      I saw a couple of olympic events because they happened to be on when I was near a T.V.. Can’t even remember what they were.

      But actually watching someone running faster, jumping higher, kicking further, etc. etc. does nothing for me.

      The olympics was my excuse NOT to visit Britain this summer.

      I am pleased that people strive to exceed; good on them. I admire people trying to exceed THEIR personal best.

      Having more or less, longer or shorter legs so as to be able to beat another is bordering on freakish. Like 7 foot tall basketballers or the Somoan 90 Kg. under 12’s footballers playing in a ‘normal’ size schoolboy under 12 game.

      If I had my way EVERY kid would participate in sport. Each competing with his/her self. Each being rewarded on achieving improvement on their own previous best; each pushing to trim that second off their best time, lift that extra gram or add that inch to their best throw.

      Sports icons training every day to the point where only a few are competive with them makes everyone else feel incompetent. This leads to a disinterest in attempting. After the little kid dream, they soon discover they are not olympic class and stop.

      The olympics is just a commercial freak show.

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      10:50am | 28/08/12

      Ironic- the only ‘moral’ reason the boring Olympic games exist was supposedly to show personal triumphs over adversity in physical sports, highlight the average person to the world etc.

      Yet in our most jingoistic and commercialized games yet, the one opportunity to prove that the Olympics weren’t about cashed up celebrities fawning for sponsorships that is the para-olympics got wasted.

      Not that I care, I’m just relieved the stations won’t be wasting any more time on sports than normal for another few years

    • Cat says:

      10:53am | 28/08/12

      I have played wheelchair “football” (a very dangerous game!) but the reality is that most people are simply not interested. They don’t want to watch - or even hear about people with disabilities playing sport.
      I am not even interested myself (but that applies to all sport).
      All that said I do think those participating should be given support and recognition because, believe it or not, it requires just as much effort and training and persistence to participate as it does the Olympic - and a little more besides. It is not going to get the same coverage because the advertising money is not there but it can be given more news time.

    • Ausy says:

      11:33am | 28/08/12

      Dude you can’t force people to watch them and if you put them in with the Olympics it would run forever - I can only handle so much Eddy.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      11:55am | 28/08/12

      Maybe because so many of those supposedly ‘elite’ able-bodied competitors have become so addicted to Performance Enhancing drugs People with Disabilities, many of whom have spent years recovering, re-building themselves, fine-tuning their bodies by sheer hard work can see no point. Because of their problems & the legal, non-addictive medications they have to take they - and many would hate taking them - prefer to be a clean as possible. Have a look at every Able-bodied Olympian who won any medal & it was unexpected. What is the first question asked? “Yes, he/she won BUT what is he/she on?”
      Paralympians should have the right to compete against the able-bodied & didn’t some do exactly that in London? But it should be their choice. I suspect that, if they are honest, most able-bodied would not want Disabled competing with them. They simply could not abide the idea that someone with prosthetic feet, legs might beat them!
      I far prefer to watch the Paralympics for the men & women who take part have overcome far greater obstacles than any of the weeping’n'wailing able-bodied who can’t bear the idea that someone else was better than them.
      Can you imagine how those petty poppets would react if they were beaten by a man/women who spent most of their lives in wheelchairs or had no choice but to get around on prosthetic legs?

    • Traxster says:

      12:47pm | 28/08/12

      I don’t give a stuff what all youse wankers say…........
      I’ like the Paralympics and I’m gonna watch em…........!!

    • M says:

      03:35pm | 28/08/12

      Yeh, whatever. Youll be the only one

    • Paul S says:

      02:43pm | 28/08/12

      I’ll be interested to see the ratings the ABC gets for it’s coverage over the next two weeks. Judging by some of the comments here, it looks like the Paralympics will rate better than ‘Howzat!’.
      Sadly though, I doubt this will be the case. Because even though anyone with a brain can understand and respect the achievements of the individual athletes, that doesn’t automatically translate to a desire to sit down and watch paralympic events.
      Personally, I wish the Australian Team all the best, but I won’t be getting up to watch them.

 

Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

28 comments

Newsletter

Read all about it

Sign up to the free News.com.au newsletter