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'They should be all over the media right now': Seven taken to task for Paralympics coverage

14 March 2018 8:22 AM
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Legendary disabled athlete Louise Sauvage, who won two gold medals and one silver at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics in wheelchair racing, highlighted that Simon Patmore’s snowboarding gold medal was missing from TV screens on Monday.

"My main problem is that it on so late at night and they show the day before coverage," Sauvage told Fairfax Media.

"Any athlete [Paralympian or Olympian] who is competing at the highest level of their chosen sport deserves the recognition for all the hard work they have gone through to get the results they achieve.

"We have come such a long way in terms of public awareness and education about sport for athletes with disabilities. Why are we taking a step back with this very woeful coverage?"

In reply, a Channel Seven spokesman said the Paralympics were important for the network and there were several components to their coverage.

The network added the following statement: "The Australian Winter Paralympic team is a very small team (12 athletes and 3 sighted guides) competing in reasonably condensed event framework.

"Seven is the first Australian commercial broadcaster to cover the Winter Paralympics. In addition to the one-hour highlights program (shown three times each day and also available on catch-up), we have Seven News reporters on the ground in PyeongChang and we are including coverage in Seven News each night and on Sunrise each morning."

Another Paralympian, multiple medallist and Australian Paralympic Committee board member Kurt Fearnley, highlighted that Patmore’s gold medal was the first to come from either of Australia’s Olympic or Paralympic campaigns.

"It is outstanding to see winter para sport on commercial TV," said the former wheelchair racer.

"But we’re a sport born out of the back fields of stoke Mandeville [a reference to the origins of the Paralympic movement in England after World War Two].

"Our Australian Paralympians will continue to persevere and succeed through any and all issues that arise."


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