Yes, the 2014 Sochi Paralympics are in full swing, and drawing incredible crowds, and yet, how many of us have spent hours glued to our TV’s watching Canadian Olympic dreams continue come true?
Somehow, the Olympic hype is over even though Paralympic athletes are earning medals and making history every day this week. The culprit of this lack of awareness, I imagine, is the lack of coverage of the Games, which ultimately affects sponsorship and advertising targeted at the viewing public at home. Although this year, CBC introduced 250 hours of online live-streaming content, and boasts about featuring 30 hours of accessible TV coverage, I wonder, where is the primetime content?
This is the timeslot that advertisers pay the biggest money for, and the best time to draw in the Games’ biggest and most influenced audience: families. More importantly, what valuable lessons are we missing out on by not highlighting alternative role models to our kids and young people? It can be too easy to idolize the boys on Team Canada’s hockey team, with ideal athletic qualities and often a large professional salary behind them. What we’re not asking is, what says, “anything is possible” more than Brian McKeever winning Canada’s first gold medal for visually impaired cross-country skiing race? The Paralympic Athlete is the kind of hero I want my children to look up to- the one that had a million reasons to give up, but instead, carved their path to the Olympic Games.