Sunday, March 16, 2008

The way for disabled athletes into coverage

The April issue of Runner's World devotes several pages (including the Editor's Letter) to the case of Oscar Pistorius, a South African amputee whose 400 m. time is faster than of many able-bodied athletes. This isn't the first time that Runner's World has dedicated ink to runners with a disability, nor will it be the last. Another runner, Tatyana McFadden, has also made news lately with her bid to join her high school's track team.
It is interesting to note that disabled athletes who compete in individual, participatory-type sports (those that do not require the levels of organization of basketball or softball, for instance) generally receive more coverage than those competing in other sports. I think that these kinds of sports are more open to diversity in coverage, and I believe that disability-sports advocates who are looking for better media coverage should start with participatory sports (running, triathloning, swimming, biking). This kind of coverage could help open the door to better all-around coverage of adapted-sport (disabled) athletes.

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