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2010 Winter Paralympics: More pride than eyes

Despite a comparatively large amount of advertising and media exposure compared to most Paralympics, and Sir William Craven, the International Paralympic President, claiming that the Vancouver games were “the best ever,” you would be hard pressed to find Canadians who took in the games.

“I watched a little bit of sledge hockey on TV just to see what it was all about, but I couldn’t get into it,” Eric Donald, a Vancouver resident, said over a Facebook chat. “Some people really got into the Paralympics, but a lot of us are still just tired out from the Olympics a month ago.”

CTV, TSN and Rogers Sportsnet broadcast select coverage of the 10-day event including the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as highlights of the most popular Paralympic sports, such as sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. Coverage of the games was also featured on the ctvolympics.ca website.

Canada came through with its largest medal haul ever at the event, winning 19 medals total including 10 gold. The most notable among Canada’s medalists were Lauren Woolstencroft, who won five gold medals in standing alpine skiing. Brian McKeever, the visually impaired man who was named to Canada’s Olympic cross-country ski team but was unable to participate, also brought home three gold medals.

For people who were not bombarded with CTV's "I Believe" ads in the lead-up to the games, the event appears to mean even less, “Really it’s not something that most people care about. I mean sure it’s heroic and all but who really cares who the world’s fastest sit-skier is,” said Justin Spicer, a former writer for the Sports Oratory who resides in Indianapolis, IN. “The event is the epitome of an also-ran.”

While they do have some followers, the Paralympics are lagging far behind in fan support. While the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s official facebook page tops out at 1,879 fans as of this writing, while the Canadian Olympic team fan page on facebook dwarfs it with 71,840 fans.

The next Paralympic Games are scheduled to take place in the summer of 2012 in London, England following the conclusions of the Summer Olympics.

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Kellen Scrivens

  • User since Oct 27th 2009, 09:37

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