IMPACT

'It's What's There' Ad Shows Paralympians Are Athletes. Period.

03/05/2014 03:22 EST | Updated 03/05/2014 03:59 EST

More than anything else, Paralympians are world-class athletes.

With the Olympics over, it’s time to turn our attention to the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games starting March 7. But whether we like to admit it or not, the Paralympics have often trailed the Olympics in media coverage and general interest because the focus isn’t on competition, but on sympathy.

In a J-Source article, David Greig, a former Athletics Canada coach, says Canadian media has a long way to go when it comes to covering the Paralympics. He compares it with British coverage, which emphasize sports over disabilities.

“We’ve seen a lot of media that does a disservice to the system…by using terms like, ‘Despite having a disability, look what this guy does,’ or, ‘it’s so tragic he lost his leg, but now look what he can do,’” said Greig.

That’s why we love this marketing campaign launched by the Canadian Paralympic Committee that focuses on the ability of these athletes to compete rather than their physical challenges.

The commercial shows close-ups of athletes competing with immense speed and agility, then pans out with the camera to reveal they’re snowboarding with one leg or playing sledge hockey.

The campaign debunks the notion that all Paralympians are winners because they’ve overcome adversity and focuses instead on their tremendous ability to excel in sport, period.

With 54 athletes on Team Canada, we can’t wait to cheer on our Paralympic team as they own the podium in Sochi!

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It's What There