Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

The Paralympics: Challenging Social Media to Respond Where Traditional Media Fails Athletes with Disabilities

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 2:14 am on Friday, March 12, 2010

Paralympic Games countdown clock in downtown VancouverThe Olympic Winter Games may be over, but the Paralympics are just beginning!

(Yes, it’s still winter even though the trees are already in full bloom. Gotta love winter in Vancouver!)

Even though the Paralympic celebrations are significantly scaled back from the pandemonium seen during the Olympics, there’s still much to see. The final day of the Paralympic Torch Relay began with the lighting of the community cauldron at Robson Square, kicking off a 24-hour torch relay around downtown Vancouver.

Darrell and I were at Robson Square for the beginning of the 24-hour relay and I captured these videos. Please forgive me for not captioning them; my left thumb would be a month at that task.

The first is the lighting of the cauldron with the background story of the flame. (Watch the journalist who tries standing up in front!)

(Note: It’s now 2am and this video still won’t upload to YouTube for some unknown yet annoying reason. I’ll try again later tomorrow.)

The second video is The Canadian Wheelchair Dance Academy performing Open Happiness. (Seeing Monica from elementary school was definitely a surprise!)

In addition to the torch relay, a short list of Olympic pavilions are also staying open for the Paralympics, including the very popular Robson Square zipline. (I wonder how accessible that attraction is. ) Here’s your chance to check out these attractions without the long lineups!

For those who prefer enjoying sports from the comforts of your own couch, you’ll need to only watch 57 hours of televised broadcast by the Canadian consortium led by CTV, unlike the more than 2,200 hours of Olympic coverage. Even the Opening Ceremonies will not be broadcast live, but rather “repackaged Saturday afternoon into a four-hour block with a replay of the first Canada-Italy sledge hockey game.”

The good news is that social media and the internet are picking up where traditional media is failing. Paralympic Sport TV — the Internet TV channel of the International Paralympic Committee — will offer free live broadcasts worldwide via Internet. Huddle around your computer screen to cheer on your favourite Paralympians. Then blog about it, tweet it and facebook it. Let’s make some noise about these Games and well-deserving athletes.

Go Canada go!

Breaking news! Due to criticism, CTV has decided to air the Opening Ceremonies live in Vancouver beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. The rest of the country, however, will have to wait. The show will air nationally on CTV on Saturday at 2 p.m. local time. See what making some noise can accomplish!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by Karen

March 17, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

I heard this AM that Rick Mercer accompanied our former mayor, Sam Sullivan on the Zip. Do you wanna go, Glenda? I could certainly try to facilitate that one … I REALLY want to but am alone in my desire…

Comment by Glenda

March 17, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

Karen, I am soooo up for that!! My only concerned is getting my scooter to the other side.

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