I have been addicted to and absolutely loved the Olympics and it is an affair that has kept on going with the Paralympics. The events for the latter have been astonishing and Ellie Simmonds is my new hero. The sport has been tense and thrilling, Team GB inspiring and each gold medal moment is a moment etched in history.
I love it, I love the fact that I’ve been watching sports I don’t usually, during the Olympics I was an avid follower of the Taekwondo, the dressage and the show jumping, at the moment I love the swimming, wheelchair basketball and the visually impaired football.
All the stories are inspiring, not only do you have Ellie Simmonds who has to make up for the drag in the water because of her height, but you have other swimmers with no arms who get through the water with sheer upper body strength, you have visually impaired swimmers and leg amputees. The GB women’s sitting volleyball team has a member who was actually sat next to a suicide bomber during the events of 7/7, the day after it was announced that London would be hosting the 202 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Everywhere you look there are inspiring people with inspiring stories. They bring a tear to the eye and pride to their hometowns. They are outstanding men and women and have done more with their lives than most of us able-bodied people, and I thoroughly enjoy seeing them reaping the rewards for their hard-work.
Despite Channel 4 and its shoddy coverage.
Somehow, the all-knowing beings of Channel 4 have got it into their heads that we want to listen to the inane chatterings of their presenters and infuriatingly repetitive adverts rather than the amazing events that are unfolding. They put on presenters who set us up to watch segments about shopping. I get that it’s difficult for amputees to get shoes and clothes that fit, I get that the have difficulties in shops, but surely this would be better being a programme after the Paralympics have finished, not a tiny little clip that has no significance to the Paralympics. Making it an actually programme would draw more attention to these problems and airing it after the second biggest sporting event in the world is an opportunity not to be missed.
Then there’s the fact that none of the sport ever seems to be live, when something important is about to happen they go to a break and then back to presenters before going back to the sport, when world records are broken or medals won we don’t often get to see them live and it’s even rarer to see a medal ceremony. They also don’t stay with a sport for its entirety.
Channel 4 only seems bothered about proper coverage with superficial things like Big Brother (thank god they don’t have it anymore) whereas something actually important they have screwed up so badly that I actually want to advise them never to bid for anything important ever again.
Their only saving grace is Clare Balding, as usual she has been an amazing presenter and even I can admit that the channel have helped me to understand the different rankings of disability.
But like I said, in spite of all the coverage mistakes I have often been overwhelmed by the achievements our team have made. Today Sophie Christiansen got her third gold medal of these games, Ellie Simmonds won a bronze in her weakest event and Heather Frederiksen defended her title in the S8 100m women’s breaststroke, earning GB their 21st gold medal. Even as I speak our Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team are playing very, very well against Germany, the world’s second best team, and are only behind by one point with one quarter left to go (but in typical Channel 4 fashion it’s moved over to the swimming, forsaking the conclusion).
Anyway, I really do believe London has pulled it off, and I’m going to be in a serious slump when it’s all over. What has everyone else thought of the 2012 games? What has been your most memorable moment?