29 July 2008

Cool Bits of News About 2008 Beijing Paralympics and Olympians With Disabilities

The Paralympic Games in Beijing will start on September 6th. Learn about the twenty Summer Paralympic Sports at this website! Did you know that this year Rowing is a new event at the Paralympic Games? Do you know how to play goalball? Brush up there. Do you know about the different classifications for different events? Lots of great info on that site. Did you know the Summer Paralympic mascot is a cow? Neither did I. Apparently,

Cows, symbolic of a down-to-earth, diligent, staunch and never-say-die spirit, are adopted to show the unremitting spirit of athletes with a disability in being the best they can be. It dovetails with the upbeat spirit of Paralympians and the concept of "Transcendence, Equality, Integration" of the Beijing Paralympic Games.

The determined, optimistic and diligent spirit of cows reflects a positive attitude to life. The Paralympic Games calls for people with a disability to enjoy the same rights to compete in sports as anyone else, and to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the World, and thus develop their strength to add vigor and vitality to social progress.

Yes, those cows and their never-say-die spirits...Hmm. The Olympic mascots are: a fish girl, a panda boy, a fire boy, an antelope boy, and a swallow girl.

Watch the Paralympics

This site, Paralympic Sport TV, will show news and events from the Paralympic Games, which start on September 6th, 2008. It is run by the International Paralympic Committee. Watch a cool trailer here. I don't know how much coverage they will feature.

If you live in the UK, details of Paralympics coverage on TV can be found here. They will air over six hours of Paralympic sport per day for twelve days.

In Australia, the ABC will broadcast over one hundred hours of Paralympic coverage. That's the most Paralympic coverage of any country. The schedule is here.

As far as I can tell, there will be little to no coverage of the Paralympic Games in the United States. A nice person from the US Paralympic Team website informed me that hopefully there would be news about some Paralympic coverage. I will keep you posted! I'm guessing there should at least be some televised specials. If anyone knows of any scheduled coverage, leave me a comment!

And finally! This year marks (I believe) the first time that an athlete will compete in the both Paralympics and the Olympics. South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, who I wrote about before, will compete in the Olympic 10 km open water swim ( a new event) as well as six different Paralympic swim events.

Unfortunately, Oscar Pistorius did not qualify for the SA Olympic team in either the individual or relay competitions. He will represent South Africa in the Paralympics and he plans to continue training in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.

In addition, Polish table tennis champ Natalia Partyka will compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic table tennis events. She is missing her right forearm and she competes left handed.


Images: Top: A cute little brightly-colored cartoon cow is the 2008 Paralympic mascot. A caption states her name in English and Chinese as Fu Niu Lele.
Bottom: Natalia Partyka, a young white woman missing her right forearm, strikes an athletic pose as she prepares to return the ball in a table tennis match.

9 comments:

william Peace said...

American network and cable TV executives should be ashamed that the paralympics will not be televised. I too could not find any station that was covering the games.

JJ Cooper said...

I'm in Australia, so am fortunate to get some coverage over here of the Paralympics. We have always had fairly good coverage and I'm glad we'll get the chance to sit down and cheers on these inspirational athletes.

JJ

Laurie Ashton said...

Competing in both the olympics and paralympics? That's cool!

Razib Ahmed said...

I am in Bangladesh and Bangladeshi contestants performed well in this compeition in the last few years. Well, we have no scope to get the coverage of Paralympics in our TV channels. Thanks a lot for writng about it. Most people neglect them.

Miss Lissy said...

I'm so sad that the American networks would not show that. I believe that people who are disabled are not disabled, just abled in a different way. This is going to be random, but I also didn't know that table tennis/ping pong was an olympic or paralympics sport! That's cool.

plaidearthworm said...

I love the little cow mascot! I know that the paralympics are probably not televised because of money, but I think they're underestimating the American public. Geez, look at the usual NBC Saturday night lineup. Getting to cheer someone on in Paralympics would be way better than the umpteenth repeat of World's Outrageous Videos.

colbymarshall said...

I agree- the paraolympics should be televised. What a horrible overlook of some incredible athletes!

chandlermariecraig said...

I'm surprised they aren't. I know when I have had the opportunity to see paraolympic type sports performed, it's been amazing and inspiring to watch. I think most would agree.

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