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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:45 PM   #1
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Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

The Paralympic Games are usually a poor cousin/ugly stepchild of the Olympics, nice to see it being given equal stature for a change. Thank you Beijing! Too bad this isn't shown on NBC, but universal.com, showed it live and you can catch the entire ceremony on their website . If I weren't so burnt out on the Olympics I might actually watch some.

From the NY Times:
Quote:
In Beijing, a Sublimely Spectacular Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 2008 Paralympics was staged at the Bird’s Nest on Saturday, and again the Beijing organizers put on an amazing show — but one perhaps even more sublimely beautiful than the opening of the Olympics.

Although the event was televised live in several countries around the world, it was not shown on American television. However, it was streamed live on universalsports.com, and fortunately you can see the ceremony virtually in its entirety on the web site, at this address.

It is well worth watching, and for those who enjoyed the Olympic opening ceremony but are frustrated by NBC’s clampdown on reshowings to boost its own DVD sales, it’s a particular pleasure to be able to see Saturday’s ceremony easily, legally and as many times as you want. The presence of the Paralympic athletes themselves adds to the beauty of the spectacle in ways far different and perhaps more profound than the presence of the Olympic athletes did last month.

But the portion of the proceedings that begins after the athletes’ parade, about halfway through the video, provides some of the most sublimely beautiful imagery of any ceremony of this kind ever staged. Still photographs do not quite capture the scene or the emotions they evoke; nevertheless, they have a beauty of their own. Below, some scenes from Saturday’s ceremony.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #2
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

Here's another article on TV/internet coverage for anyone interested:

From the NY Times:
Quote:
Where Americans Can Watch the Paralympics
By Alan Schwarz

Surfeited by last month’s wall-to-wall Olympic coverage across 82 different NBC channels? Hoping that your regular “My Name is Earl” get-together won’t ever again be pre-empted by swimming and other sports?

Don’t worry. In stark contrast to almost every other large nation, the United States will continue to have no television coverage – not even one hour – during the Paralympics, which begin Saturday in Beijing. Not live, not tape-delayed. Nothing.

That being said, fans of disabled sport – not to mention sports in general – will still be able to watch more Paralympic action than ever before, thanks to streaming Internet video.
Approximately 50 hours of live event coverage will stream on universalsports.com, a portal devoted to underappreciated sports. (It starts with the opening ceremony at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday; for the full schedule, see the bottom of this post.) The site will also produce hour-long highlight shows offered in the morning and evening, with all programming subsequently available on demand.

“We want to provide a window into the world of these sports and get people excited,” said Claude Ruibal, CEO of Universal Sports, who added that General Electric and Visa are among secured sponsors. “We want to get that much more excitement in the marketplace for the future for these athletes as we get to Vancouver and London. I do think this stuff will catch on.”

As for conventional television coverage, none will be seen in the United States until Oct. 8, when NBC’s cable sports channel, Universal Sports TV, will broadcast three hours of programming for seven days. Those shows will consist of highlights and features on particularly compelling athletes.

If you insist on getting your Paralympics through rabbit ears, you have only one shot – at 2:30 Eastern on Oct. 18, when NBC will air a separate 90-minute compendium of athlete features and highlights.

This is far more coverage than the Paralympics has ever received in the United States, but it’s nothing near what other countries show of their disabled athletes. The BBC will have extensive television coverage in Britain, China’s channels are airing 10 hours each and every day, and Spain and Australia will show just a little under that. Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa and Germany all will have significant live or at least tape-delayed coverage during the Games.

Then again, many of the outlets in those nations are run by or affiliated with the government. NBC, as network Olympics president Gary Zenkel noted in a telephone interview Friday, has bottom lines to heed.

“We are a commercial enterprise,” Zenkel said. “They don’t have the same economic concerns and parameters that we do here in the Untied States. We are not public television. We have to get advertising revenue that exceeds its cost. It is not inexpensive to cover two weeks of athletic events in China.”

NBC figures what it does this year, both online and on television, can help it gauge the demand for more coverage for the 2010 Vancouver and 2012 London Paralympic games.
“I don’t think it has yet been proven that there’s an audience that will support live television in this marketplace,” Zenkel said. “That’s what we hope to assess over our multiplatform coverage this year.”

LIVE COVERAGE ON universalsports.com:
Date, time (ET) Event
Sat 9/6 8am Opening ceremony
Sun 9/7 5am Swimming
Mon 9/8 5am Swimming
Tue 9/9 5am Track & field
Wed 9/10 5am Swimming
Thu 9/11 5am Swimming 830am Men’s basketball (USA vs. Australia)
Fri 9/12 5am Track & field 930am Women’s basketball (quarterfinal)
Sat 9/13 5am Track & field 10am Women’s basketball (semifinal)
Sun 9/14 5am Track & field 1030am Men’s basketball (semifinal)
Mon 9/15 5am Swimming 930am Women’s basketball (final)
Tue 9/16 8am Rugby (final)
Wed 9/17 8am Closing ceremony

Last edited by RFSTB : Sep 7th, 2008 at 05:55 AM.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 02:35 AM   #3
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

Some Chinese thoughs on the disabled:

Quote:
In May, an official guide for Olympic volunteers characterised the disabled as "stubborn and controlling" and "unsocial."

.....

Until recently, the Chinese used the phrase "can fei", meaning deficient and useless, to describe the disabled. The pejorative term dates back to the 1950s and the Mao Tse-tung era, when the communist party was determined to project an image of a healthy, strong population. Forced sterilisation of the disabled was common, while marriages between disabled people were forbidden.

.....

Emily Oelrich, 20, a student from Northampton who recently spent three weeks on a clandestine Christian mission trip to China, said: "It is a very hard country for the disabled people we were working with, as false impressions mean many people believe that disfigurement is a sign of bad luck which can be infectious."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...d-Chinese.html
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 03:00 AM   #4
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

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Originally Posted by Scotso View Post
Some Chinese thoughs on the disabled:



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...d-Chinese.html
One could easily bring up a spate of articles relating to how there's social stigma attached to the disabled in Western nations.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #5
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

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Originally Posted by tennisbear7 View Post
One could easily bring up a spate of articles relating to how there's social stigma attached to the disabled in Western nations.
What's your point? It's okay because everyone else does it, too?
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #6
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

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Originally Posted by Scotso View Post
What's your point? It's okay because everyone else does it, too?
What was the point in posting what you posted earlier? Surely not to demonise the Chinese! Surely not. You could have done the job by throwing in an article about the social stigma attached to the paralysed in the States. But no, you chose China.

I call people out on hypocrisy and injustice. Deal with it.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #7
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

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Originally Posted by tennisbear7 View Post
What was the point in posting what you posted earlier? Surely not to demonise the Chinese! Surely not. You could have done the job by throwing in an article about the social stigma attached to the paralysed in the States. But no, you chose China.

I call people out on hypocrisy and injustice. Deal with it.
Thats just what scotso did about the chinese and how unjust they are to the disabled
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 05:21 AM   #8
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

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Thats just what scotso did about the chinese and how unjust they are to the disabled
Exactly.

This is taking place in China. Thus why I targeted China. Makes sense to me?
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #9
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

We need to get off our high horse on this. As someone who has a family member in a wheelchair, I can tell you first hand how poorly our own country treats the disabled. Just try and get a taxi in NYC in a wheelchair! The fact that NBC doesn't even bother airing a single hour of this event live or taped should tell you what we think of people with disability in our country -- forget 2nd class citizens, NBC would rather pretend they don't even exist! And no one in America even cares enough to complaint! So STFU already will ya?!

As for China, this is exactly why it is great to have the Paralympic games there. It brings on awareness in their society and hopefully will help remove some of the social stigma associated with physical disabilities.

Read this great article in the NY Times:

Quote:
The Starting Line: The Benefits of the Paralympics

In most cases it’s arguable whether or not a big sports event provides long-term social benefits to the city or country that plays host to it. But there isn’t much argument when it comes to the Beijing Paralympics, which already have brought great social and practical improvements for the disabled in China.

China was a place where in Maoist times the word used to refer to the disabled was “deficient” or “useless,” and vestiges of that attitude lingered on until quite recently. But as John Vause of CNN International points out in this video report (scroll down to “Beijing Paralympics”), Beijing is now full of newly built wheelchair-accessible facilities — and perhaps more important, the disabled themselves in China are newly out, visible and proud. Xie Yan, a producer at a Beijing radio station for the disabled who lost a leg to bone cancer, tells Vause that he spent years at home, unable to face the outside world. Now it’s different; every employee at the station where he works has a disability.

The torch relay in Beijing on Friday. (AP/Andy Wong)Certainly the Paralympic torch relay has done much to impart a sense of dignity and pride to the disabled in China, as torchbearers with various disabilities have very visibly proceeded across the country. The relay made it to Beijing on Friday (see if you can get the video report on this CCTV web page to open), where 70 disabled torchbearers will be among those carry the flame to the Bird’s Nest, highlighting the Games’ theme of “transcendence, equality and integration.”

Slogans aside, however, many see the Paralympics having a positive impact on China. “This will be profound,” said Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan, who carried the torch in Beijing on Friday to represent the city that will play host to the 2010 Winter Paralympics, and who is himself a quadriplegic. “This will be the watershed moment where people with disabilities take their place in Chinese society.”
I just watched the Opening Ceremony and was moved beyond believe. They did an amazing job incorporating many people with various disabilities into the performances. The dance by the hearing impaired, the blind piano player, the dancing hands, the torch lighting by the wheelchair athlete who pulled himself all the way up with encouragement from the crowd ! Everything is so sublimely beautiful and inspiring! Also like that they allow the athletes to come in first and enjoy all the performances, they should've done that with the Olympics OC. I like this as much as the Olympics OC. It's more intimate, relaxed and heartfelt. Well done again Beijing!!

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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #10
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

Okay, please provide some articles on the social prejudices against disabled in Australia and the States too, if your goal was to point out such social inequality in the first place. Why don't you target Western nations too?

It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to detect Scotso's xenophobia. Meh.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #11
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

The opening ceremony was wonderful.

I think the Paralympics can be a real source for change in the way disabled people are viewed in China. Traditionally there have been significant problems in facilties and prejudices in attitudes. But these games can help China view disability in a whole new light. Certainly disabled facilities in Beijing have already transformed. I think the Chinese public will be amazed by their athletes achievements.

Im proud the BBC will offer comprehensive coverage, on its interactive service and beyond.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #12
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

How sad to see that most of the world media (yes it's not just the USA) ignored this ceremony on TV and just related very quickly about those games in the press.

The French media, for example, are happy to say we're expecting 60 medals (more than what we got with the 'valid' athletes) but couldn't care less to show the ceremony live on TV or write articles about those athletes who will bring back medals home.

Maybe it's time the disabled join the 'real' games so we give them the credit they really deserve.
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #13
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotso View Post
What's your point? It's okay because everyone else does it, too?
well, why don't you start with your own country which is not planning much to cover this event?

that could be the point...
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #14
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

by the way, UK has an excellenet coverage of the Paralympics

and the ceremony was even better than regular event. China!
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Old Sep 7th, 2008, 01:33 PM   #15
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Re: Beijing opens Paralympics with equally stunning ceremony

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Originally Posted by RFSTB View Post
The Paralympic Games are usually a poor cousin/ugly stepchild of the Olympics, nice to see it being given equal stature for a change. Thank you Beijing! Too bad this isn't shown on NBC, but universal.com, showed it live and you can catch the entire ceremony on their website . If I weren't so burnt out on the Olympics I might actually watch some.

From the NY Times:
i was expecting it would like that and missed a great opening ceremony
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