Moving on to the Paralympics

Did you know that Canada’s elite athletes are going back to Beijing? Only this time they’re crippled!

Every two years, people pretend to have been interested in Olympic sports all along. Our amnesia kicks back in immediately after the closing ceremonies, leaving the Paralympics adrift in a sea of indifference.

(It could be worse: In Atlanta, the Olympics ripped out all the phones and every shred of infrastructure, leaving the Paralympics to bring trashed stadiums into a condition worthy of elite competition with no leadtime and a fraction of the “real” event’s budget.)

But Canada’s public broadcaster actually is covering the Paralympics – starting next Saturday.

TV promo for Paralympics

They won’t be doing it in prime time (other than that day) or in any other way that inconveniences anyone or even causes anyone to notice the existence of the event, but there will be coverage of a sort.

Surely the Web is a perfect environment for just causes that nobody cares about? Let’s do a quick check.

What happens when you visit CBC.CA/paralympic? 404.

How about /paralympics? Now we’re in business! Thrill with us as we relive the triumph, the tragedy, the prostheses, the murderball quad rugby sledge hockey of Torino 2006: The Paralympic Winter Games.

Screenshot: Torino 2006 Paralympics

(The Winter Paralympics are to the Paralympics as the Paralympics are to the Olympics.)

Is /beijing2008 any better? (The Paralympics are still happening in Beijing and it’s still 2008.) Nope: 404. /olympic? Redirects to /olympics – still to this day a glorious celebration of the real Olympics, despite the fact they ended two weeks ago.

Screenshot: CBC Sports Beijing Olympics page

Have I been looking in the wrong place? What about CBCSports.CA? Well, that just redirects to www.CBC.CA/sports, and while there’s a huge banner about the Olympics, all I see are a couple of articles below the fold about the cripple version (edited screenshot):

Screenshot: CBC Sports

Beijing Olympic organizers Beijing2008.CN? The site doesn’t quite understand that I want English, not Chinese (among its many technical flaws), but sure enough, all it tries to tell me about are the Paralympics. Because the Olympics are over.

If the revitalization of Radio 2 has taught us anything, it is that the CBC refuses to live in the past anymore. Except when it comes to disabled sport.

Is this what happens when you disband an entire show about disability issues? When the biggest disability-related event of the year comes up, we can’t even set up a Web site about it?


  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 5:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Damn, Chantal Petitclerc is easily Canada’s most attractive athlete, in or out of a wheelchair.

    You’d think that alone would merit more airtime.

  2. Fake Ouimet
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 10:03 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yes. No.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 9:19 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “I affected the CBC!” That was “ironical” too, right? Get over yourself.

  4. Fake Ouimet
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It’s true, crippled really does refer to physical disability, particularly an impediment in walking or mobility. Blind people probably aren’t “crippled.”

    Nonetheless, the context was ironical, as most readers will have noticed.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 9:49 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I know Fake can stand up for himself, but guys, I think he was using crippled with sarcasm in that post

  6. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 9:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    No, you don’t understand, it’s cool, he’s taking it back.

  7. buschic
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 8:17 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Please STOP using the word “crippled” is is the year 2008, NOT 1948!
    Damm, get you head outta your ass and get into reality, we are disABLED, our sports mean just as much to us as the olympics feels to “normal” people..
    I Find it totally insensitive to refer to disabled people as “cripples” or “crippled” even the term “handicapped pisses me off!
    I’m Blind, NOT “crippled”!!!

  8. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 10:11 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “crippled” ?? You must be using the 1947 CP style book.

  9. Naomi
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 4:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    PS. We’ve also set up our own Paralympic coverage site with some Team USA atheletes blogging from Beijing. It’s not much, but it’s something!

  10. Naomi
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 3:58 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is a great blog post. I work for, and we’ve noticed the severe lack of coverage for the paralympics too. It’s really sad. These atheletes train just as hard and deserve just as much coverage and respect as able bodied atheletes. It’s good to know other people are noticing the lack.

  11. Fake Ouimet
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I affected the CBC!

  12. Kev
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:50 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Check /paralympics now. It’s just been updated to point to the new site. You can pretend it’s because of you if you like.

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