If you're British, you're probably going to say "yeah der, everybody knows that".
If you're American, unless you know someone close with disabilities you might not know....because......and I can not believe I'm going to say this but:
DESPITE 227 athletes from the USA competing for their country in 16 days time....
DESPITE NBC dedicating 5,535 hours to the London 2012 Olympics on television....
NOT A MINUTE OF THE LONDON 2012 PARALYMPICS IS GOING TO BE SHOWN ON AMERICAN TELEVISION!!!
Are you as gobsmacked as I am about this?
(Please don't get me wrong, I'm not judging America, though I am judging the tv networks and advertisers....I just want to get more people aware of it and watching).
I have this theory that not one of you reading this has gone through life without meeting or knowing someone with a disability. OK, so there are lots of disabilities that aren't visible...but from a very quick search, from figures from the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are 54 million Americans with disabilities.....that's 1 in 5 people.
Let me repeat, not ONE SECOND of the Paralympics are going to be shown on American television.....
And the Paralympics are AMAZING!
(Here's a link to the video about the action-packed, full-on contact sport of Wheelchair Rugby at the Paralympics on Youtube in case that didn't show up in your reader).
I love this advert from the Canadian Paralympic Committee too....unstoppable:
(Here's the link to this ad on Youtube in case it doesn't show up in your reader).
I have to admit, I've only really gotten into watching them since Athens, and coverage on UK tv did take a little while to get off the ground. But for London 2012 Paralympics the Brits get to see 150 hours on television, with the broadcaster showing them, Channel 4 (and it's sister channel More 4) also creating viewing opportunities online and via apps.
The Paralympics are going to be shown on television in the UK, Australia, Brazil, China, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, (even) Iran (!), Japan, Malaysia, S. Korea, New Zealand, Sub-Saharan Africa and Thailand............
NOT A SECOND WILL BE TELEVISED IN THE USA.....despite American heroes like Sgt. Robert Brown repsenting this wonderful country:
(Here's a link to the video from Team USA on Youtube in case this isn't showing up in your reader).
BUT all is not lost though - thanks to technology, YOU CAN WATCH ONLINE at www.paralympics.org. They'll have 5 channels, 780 hours of live sport, over a 1000 hours of video on demand. Here's their trailer:
The International Paralympic Committee says:
"Not only will the Paralympics inspire and excite the world, but they will change it, making for a more equitable society"
There will be 503 gold medals awarded at the Paralympics, 4200 athletes from 166 countries, across 20 sports, and 15 countries will take part for the first time.
Shall we watch the Paralympics together?
I'd really like more people in America to know this is happening. I don't want them to miss out on 11 days of fantastic sport and incredibly inspiring stories. After all, it only comes around every 4 years....and it would be really nice to do some stuff to try and get some television coverage for the next Paralympics.
ALSO, if you're on Twitter....
Did you know that despite having 54 million people with disabilities in the USA and over 300 million total population, the Team USA Paralympians twitter account @USParalympics has just 9,200 followers - FOLLOW THEM! Find out about the Team USA paralympians and what's going on.
(If you want some competitive spurring on, the UK has a tiny population of 62 million, and about 10 million with disabilities, and yet Team GB Paralympians twitter account @ParalympicsGB has 39,423 followers....come on America, we know you love a competition....get following!)
AND if you read this in time, today 13th August, Team USA have organised 8 twitter chats with members of the Paralympian team....check out the details here.
PS. thank you for all the kind and supportive comments on here, on Sew Weekly and via gmail about me going through a bad patch at the moment. I'm still here and I'm still fighting though I keep getting swamped by the dark cloud and am not able to do all the things I'd like to.....speaking of which I'm waaaaaaaaaaay behind on my Sew Weekly challenge this week and need to try and sort that, I can't concentrate long enough to understand patterns and am having a huge battle with a jersey fabric yoke that despite stabilising just wants to wrinkle up into a scrunchie.....ah well.
Thank you.....I'll be back.