Sport Gets the Cold Shoulder
As a friend of mine would open; begin rant1.
Im really upset at the moment with the Australian coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The games so far have been great, and particularly interesting for me has been the hockey with the womens Sweden v Switzerland game running as I write this (Swedens ahead by 3 0 by the way).
Of course the Internet is bringing all this to me. Nine, the TV network who assures us they are actually covering the games, are doing nothing but interview previous Winter Olympians and their own TV personalities about how exciting it is, theres the occasional cross to long track skating but only briefly we need to get back to asking Steven Bradbury about his opinion on Oh anything really. But while I am upset that Nines abject ignorance about Winter Sport, their assumption that nobody cares (Im certain they just siphoned the coverage) and their refusal to do much but treat it as a giant Nine network promotional exercise is frustrating, nothing is as unethical and shocking to me as the widespread coverage by every network, of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili who was tragically killed during a practice run. Nine dont get it and are promoting themselves because they think nobody cares, every other network is showing the video of someone dying in a tragic accident instead of reporting on the news associated with the games.
The IOCs official statement is;
Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, was on the final corner of the course during official training when he had a serious crash and was propelled off the track at the Whistler Sliding Center in Vancouver, Canada, according to the IOC.
From what I can gather it seems that tragically, the guy has been luging along at about a million miles an hour (for those unfamiliar, this is the sledding on your back, feet first, down a halfpipe thing), and mounted the wall and come off the track. Hes then hit a pole at speed and not made it to hospital alive.
Rather than report about the games, with a notable report of someone killed in practice in a tragic accident, the non-preferred coverage partners are doing nothing but playing the live video of the guy dying. Its revolting. How can the producers that are in charge of this stuff actually sleep at night?
Those who know me personally (or even not very personally) know that I am an advocate for free speech, but that doesnt stop me from being revolted at both the idiocy of the networks for focussing on the accident, and for allowing sensationalism to run roughshod over restraint by showing someone getting killed on TV.
Ive reconciled that Ill not only never get decent coverage of the Winter Olympics in Australia, in fact Ill further have to put up with the TV industry awarding itself trophies for that same coverage at the next annual round of self back-patting that they call the Logies. But this year is the first year that Ive been genuinely sad that coverage has not only been ignorant and incompetent, but its featured video of someone dying because thatll get ratings. Not just genuine sadness, but its pretty deep too.
As my friend would say, end rant.