Lack of Attention for Paralympics Is Problematic
Lack of Attention for Paralympics Is Problematic
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  • 승인 2018.06.11 09:00
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The World Shooting Championships, hosted by the International Paralympics Committee, opened in Cheongju on May 3rd this year. It is an event where disabled people from around the world compete for the best shot skills. The IPC shooting competition has been held only in Europe until 2015. The city of Cheongju became the first Asian city to host the event. About 380 athletes from 46 countries will participate in the event, and each will compete to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Some athletes are born disabled, but many have become disabled due to accidents. About 90 percent of the nation's disabled population is said to have been acquired and disabled. They overcome the limitations of their activities, and players are challenged by human physical defects.

The last Winter Paralympics were historic with 570 athletes from 47 countries. It gave out 80 gold medals, the most ever for this event. However, the Paralympics had an unusually low quality of broadcasting and an insufficient amount of public interest compared to the Olympics. During the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the three major broadcasters had assigned a lot of time to the events, so much that they faced controversy over wastage of radio waves such as redundant broadcasting of the same games. On the contrary, however, combining both live and recorded broadcasting, only about 20 hours were assigned in total to the coverage of the Winter Paralympics for 10 days.

-Paralympics in other countries

How do other countries cover the paralympics? Compared to other countries the Paralympics program was broadcasted for 100 hours in the U.K., 94 in the United States, and 62 in Japan, which averages about four times more than Korea. On March 12, 2018, President Moon Jae-in’s senior aide was at the meeting of senior advisers for the Paralympics. After pointing out the lack of good conditions compared to other countries he said, "Please check if we can arrange more time for relays so that we can see more Paralympics games." Since then, the relay has increased slightly, but it has remained inferior to other countries.

-The poor conditions of the Paralympics in Pyeongchang

When and in what event did the first medal of the Paralympics in March come from? On March 11th there was a men’s cross-country 15K race. Shin EuI-hyun won the bronze medal with a time of 42 minutes 28 seconds. However, it was not broadcasted and Shin EuI-hyeon said, "When I go abroad to participate in international competitions, I think I will give a lot of attention to this event. Since the Paralympics events are in Korea, I hope you will pay a lot of attention to it”. The disabled ice hockey game, which competed against the Czech Republic on March 11th, won a dramatic victory in overtime, however, it was not aired due to the scheduling of the regular broadcast. At that time, the three major broadcasters aired documentaries, entertainment programs and rerun dramas. Despite the need for more attention and support as it was the national Paralympics, it was a very poor situation for broadcasting and public relations. After the game with the Czech Republic, Korean ice hockey team leader Han Min-soo said, "It was a game that was able to give courage to the people and many disabled people, but I am deeply moved by the audience who came to the stadium”. In addition, no interpreter was placed at the site of the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on March 9th and there was no audio description for the blind. The situation was no different in the stadium. Despite the fact that the subject of the competition was disabled, most of the games were not supported on the stadium screens by interpretation or subtitle services. Some people pointed out that the Paralympics for the disabled might be a way to marginalize them. The slogan of the Paralympics, which was held this March was "One Passion". Like this slogan, we should feel that all people are equal members of our nation and pay more attention to the disabled in society.

The IPC World Shooting Championships in Cheongju is also the first time for this event to be held in Asia.The city of Cheongju has been busy preparing to host the event since 2014. Before, these events were was held only in Europe every four years. This event has been held to bring disabled and non-disabled people together and realize the value of harmony. We should have a more public awareness of people with disabilities and a respectful attitude toward each other. If these efforts continue, we will become a better country as we live in harmony with each other.

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