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Thread: Are you an athlete? Help me out! (Please.)

  1. #1

    Are you an athlete? Help me out! (Please.)

    And even if you're not, maybe you can still help!


    I'm currently writing a research paper on sociolinguistics, and it's about the media painting a Paralympic athlete as a "hero" because he/she has overcome a disability as opposed to seeing him/her as a true athlete based on athletic performance. I'm collecting as many articles as I can, so that I have a significant amount of data and I thought I would ask you if you've come across anything particularly horrific.

    I'm trying to argue that the media's use of specific language can ultimately affect policy, funding for sport and societal attitudes towards people with disabilities.

    So! If you know of a particularly bad article, tv/radio interview, please send me a link, and I'll check it out.

  2. #2
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    hmm... all i can think of is the para tennis player that posed nude for espn mag and the horrible comments ppl made towards her but yea i'll keep my eyes peeled for articles. great topic for a paper!
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  3. #3
    I don't know if this will be of any use to you.
    Thirty years ago when I was hurt. I wanted to race wheel chairs. Having been around car racing most of my life I went to find sponsors. I wrote a proposal explaining how many races I would do, and how many people would see me race. I listed the areas and prices I had for sale to the sponsor. My back, chest, arms, helmet; the back and sides of my chair and front of my legs. I provided a picture to show the areas.
    I divided their cost by the number of races and the number of people that would see me. The most expense rental space cost .03 of a cent per viewer. I had 13 sponsors.
    I would bring them the trophies and finish line pictures: framed.
    Car dealers, banks, insurance companies, bars, restaurants. They all stayed with me for years. I even was offered better deals by competing sponsors.
    This paid for my chair, travel, gas, clothes, tires, etc.
    One day we set my racing chair up at the car dealer and advertised people to come out and meet their race driver. Hundreds of people showed up. Yes they were surprised by "the racer" they met. Most pleasantly. They were allowed to sit in my racer and ask any questions.
    I wasn't even that good a racer, but I was good to my sponsors.
    I don't believe its the media, or anything else that's the problems. As Pogo said: "We have met the enemy and it is us." People go: give me money so I can do whatever, but offer nothing in return.
    If you want money go hustle for it. If the media reports your sport wrong, call them and teach them differently. Bring them to your sport or that the sport to them. Call in the results from your race, game, meet to the sports desk of your local TV, paper. Not the human interest, or cutsy fill in story people.
    Visit, shake hands with the crowd, talk to kids and their parents. One of them could be your next dime. Hustle, hustle, hustle

  4. #4
    My biggest issue is the accidental and constant misuse of Special Olympics instead of Paralympics.
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." - My Grammie

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by KiranA View Post
    And even if you're not, maybe you can still help!


    I'm currently writing a research paper on sociolinguistics, and it's about the media painting a Paralympic athlete as a "hero" because he/she has overcome a disability as opposed to seeing him/her as a true athlete based on athletic performance. I'm collecting as many articles as I can, so that I have a significant amount of data and I thought I would ask you if you've come across anything particularly horrific.

    I'm trying to argue that the media's use of specific language can ultimately affect policy, funding for sport and societal attitudes towards people with disabilities.

    So! If you know of a particularly bad article, tv/radio interview, please send me a link, and I'll check it out.
    I'd suggest Googling "Challenged Athletes Foundation" (aka CAF) as well as "Achilles International" and "Achilles Track Club" to see what comes up. The print media routinely does articles featuring these organizations and may provide a few worthwhile sources (or leads) for you.

    P.S. You hold the record for unfriending me the most times on Facebook.

  6. #6

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    I'd suggest Googling "Challenged Athletes Foundation" (aka CAF) as well as "Achilles International" and "Achilles Track Club" to see what comes up. The print media routinely does articles featuring these organizations and may provide a few worthwhile sources (or leads) for you.

    P.S. You hold the record for unfriending me the most times on Facebook.
    Thanks, Stephen. I'll look into that. Basically, what I want to suggest is that the way journalists represent disabled athletes suggests that participation in sport and subsequent achievements are a compensatory measure for the fact that they are no longer able bodied, instead of just looking at the performance as an athletic achievement. So I need to find interviews that are framed like that.

    PS. I've had to de-friend many CC friends, because I'm conflicted about privacy so the new policy is if I've met you in person, I keep you on FB. That, and I read somewhere that in real life, we're only capable of having a social circle that is approximately 120 people, so when I see my FB count reach near 200, I get antsy. But I'll try and post on CC more often so that we can keep in touch here!

  7. #7

  8. #8
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    why not look at the coverage around the paralympics? or interview with the usa quad rugby team?
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  9. #9
    That was the first place I gathered articles from. Just thought I'd put the word out in case someone came across something particularly damning.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    In my experience, the media will use words such as "confined to a wheelchair", or "amazing strength and determination" in describing disabled sports. We recently had a basketball game between my team and a local college, and many people thought it was unfair that able bodied people played against us because the able bodied people would kill us (it was the other way around). It was interesting to see the transformation in their expressions...from pity and sorrowness to disbelief and amazement. I believe that these perceptions comes from media coverage.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

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