I didn't watch the wall-to-wall coverage of the Olympics. I watched some events online, and I dig all of the good stuff the Games exemplify. I'm just not an "appointment TV" person and haven't been for more than a week since the mid-80s (The Cosby Show, Thursdays 8pm, NBC). BUT that's going to change next week... kinda
I plan to be all over the London 2012 Paralympics. It took me 90-seconds to come to that conclusion. I don't know any of the athletes, I don't know anyone who might qualify as an athlete, and I'm very sure I don't know anyone who can compete on their level. I am a new fan of the Games that, I have since learned, have been happening since 1960.
According the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) website, the first Summer Games hosted 400 athletes from 23 countries. The 2008 Beijing Paralympics hosted nearly 4,000 athletes from 146 countries. 3.5 million fans saw those games from the stands and nearly 4-Billion watched the games on television. I am slightly surprised that the 2012 Games will be first time the IPC will provide "comprehensive online coverage," but this is the time to do it, the August 29 - Sept 9 action is expected to be the most attended, most watched Paralympics - ever. I am pleased that the U.S. Paralympics will show highlights each day of the Games on their YouTube channel. But. But. But. I am also disgusted to learn there will only be 5.5 hours of television coverage here in America. And that coverage won't start until the 7th day of the 12 day event.
It's not like Team USA doesn't have kick-ass paralympians. In the 2008 Beijing Games the U.S. Paralympic Swim Team topped every other country by winning 44 medals. American fans like high medal counts, right? Many of the athletes are trauma survivors who push past "impossibilities" to compete at world class levels. America loves a good comeback story, right? The U.S. Paralympics works with injured veterans and considering military amputations reached an all-time high in 2011... Well, this nation loves and respects its Armed Forces, right? Plus, the IPC cites the Games' core values as Courage, Determination, Inspiration, and Equality. And don't Americans stand up for Courage, Determination, Inspiration, and Equa...
I am leaving that alone. I am not pulling out my tote-n-shout soapbox. I am just saying... I am thankful the 2012 Paralympic Games will get at least a speck of this great nation's precious TV time (they've aired in other countries for years). No, these games won't get the coverage of those games *at all*. But even a late start puts in you in the race.
*It's less that 2 minutes long but this is why I'm hooked: I want to meet the Superhumans
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