Paralympic Roundup : Winners and Losers of the 2010 Winter Paralympics

As in the 2006 Paralympics Russia, Germany and Ukraine were big winners in the 2010 Paralympics. The main difference from 2006 was Canada which nearly doubled their gold medals in 2010 from 5 to 9. This is no surprise, however, as it is quite common for the home country to win a large number of medals.

There were a few surprises in 2010. Tiny Slovakia won more gold than giant competitors USA, France, Great Britain, Italy and Australia combined!! (Actually Great Britain, Italy and Australia won no gold at all). Slovakia which was not a major player at all in 2006, taking no gold and only 2 total medals, was the biggest surprise of 2010 taking 6 gold and 11 total medals. France which took 7 gold medals and 15 total medals in 2006, was also a surprise taking only 1 gold and 6 total medals in 2010.

The biggest winners, however, were people with disabilities from Argentina, Romania, Bosnia and Herzagovina and Serbia because their countries participated for the first time in the Paralympics. Congratulations to those people and their countries!!

The biggest losers were people with disabilities from the USA and the UK. That is because NBC/ Universal TV and BBC which broadcast the 2010 Olympics and the 2006 Paralympics refused to broadcast the 2010 Paralympics.

Hopefully these media giants will come to understand that, in the USA at least people with disabilities represent the 3rd largest minority. The media has a long way to go in their acceptance of people with disabilities. Members of the media, politicians and the local disability communities have the responsibility to do as much as possible to see that media executives make wiser decisions in the future.

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