Paralympics kicked off on Friday. Opening Ceremonies only shown on TV in British Columbia. Apparently it was only going to be on the web at first. People complained so they aired it out west and said “well if you get that channel in other time zones you can watch”. I do at home, however most people don’t. And at work they have basic cable. Nice try CTV. None of us fell for your lame attempt at spinning. Friday nights are not big nights for TV viewing so CTV should’ve aired the Opening Ceremonies.
Saw some of the taped coverage on Sunday afternoon. CBC’s coverage would air it late at night when nobody could watch. As for quality of the coverage. Editing left a lot to be desired. Things came across as slow. Jamie Campbell did voiceovers for highlights but there would be long stretches of near silence. Barely hear any audio from where the sport was being held. Cranked up the volume to no avail on many occasions. Weird.
Crowds on Saturday for alpine skiing were great. However weather messed up the plans for that day and most things got delayed till later in the week. It happens.
Sledge Hockey was live on Sportsnet. Humourous start from a broadcasting perspective. Two hosts were clearly in TSN’s studio in Toronto before it was sent to Vancouver. Then TSN’s Dave Randorf was in the arena with a CTV microphone. After the Paralympics you won’t see this mix of companies again till 2012.
Congratulations to the medal winners from Sunday. TSN Sportscentre sadly did not give it much time. In total I’d say I saw 45 seconds on the 3 medal winners. More time spent on sledge hockey. I know Canada is hockey crazy but spending more time on a 10-1 game then people who won medals was sad when TSN is supposedly one of the channels involved in coverage.
Don Cherry was in Vancouver during the past week with supporting the Paralympics. Grapes throwing his support behind it over the past few years is great for helping them get extra notice. Even if you don`t agree with Grapes he does bring additional media attention to things.
Crowds at the hockey have been great. Curling disappointing with stands only half full. After how amazing they were for Curling during the Olympics it’s strange so few people are showing up for this. Wheelchair curling is different in an interesting way. No sweeping since that would be imposssible. Teams are all co-ed though. Hope people get out as the week goes along.
First medal for Canada went to Colette Bourgonje. Silver in the 10km cross country sit ski event. And she won it at the age of 48. Chris Chelios is barely hanging on to an NHL spot at that age. Colette wins a silver medal. Impressive. She has won medals in both summer and winter games. Two bronze medals in the 100 and 800m wheelchair races in the summer of 1992. Add two more bronze medals in Atlanta and two silver medals in Nagano. Apparently not enough for TSN to give her more than 15 seconds on Sportscentre during a Sunday night.
Another silver medal went to Viviane Forest. Women`s Slalom Visually Impaired. Event where they have a guide in front of them as they go down the hill, for Forest that was Lindsay Debou. Downhill skiing would be hard enough when you are visually impaired. Slalom where you go through gates boggles the mind.
Third silver medal of the day went to Josh Dueck in the men’s sitting category in the slalom. Quote from Dueck after the race “I first thought after my accident that my disability wasn’t cool, this silver medal proves that anything is possible if you work hard at it. I once heard someone say, ‘You never know what will happen in life, so just get on with it.'”
Hope the sports shows decide to spend more time giving the Paralympians their due. Especially the medal winners for Canada. Great stories that shouldn’t be treated as an “obligation”.