In my latest editorial for CGTN, I remind sports fans — and the media — that the athletes competing in the Paralympic Games also deserve plenty of recognition and applause.
One of the unfortunate realities is that the Paralympic Games have failed to garner more headlines primarily because media agencies believe the public is not interested in them. According to one scholar, the media in the U.S. demonstrated an attitude that suggested “the Paralympic Games were not a real competition,” a terrible lack of common sense that reinforces an attitude among the public that disabled athletes are inferior to their non-disabled colleagues.
American journalists continue to show up to the Paralympic Games in far fewer numbers than reporters from other nations. Consider that in 2016, fewer than 30 accredited reporters from the U.S. covered the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The U.S. is not the only example where the Paralympics are seen as an afterthought on the global sports calendar; the reality is fewer journalists, regardless of the nation they call home, pay attention to the Paralympics.