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Why no coverage of Winter Olympics?

China Beijing winter olympics Image by BLazarus from Pixabay

China Beijing winter olympics Image by BLazarus from Pixabay

Published Feb 23, 2022

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I WAS surprised to see a picture of the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics in Monday’s Mercury. In fact, the picture should have been on the front page in place of the swimmer diving at the Anstey’s tidal (pool). Okay, I am quibbling over a trivial matter.

The big matter is that the Winter Olympics has been going on for two weeks. Not a word, line or picture in the newspapers. Why, I wondered? How could such a big event with almost 2 900 athletes from 91 countries not receive any coverage?

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Is it a question of sour grapes that our country wasn’t participating? For obvious reasons countries in the southern hemisphere, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, could not participate. But aren’t sports like golf and tennis for the privileged few? Yet they get coverage in the newspapers.

Winter sports is more specialised, needing extensive facilities, equipment and training. Understandably, it will be dominated by the snowbound countries of the northern hemisphere. While we may see it as sport for the privileged first world countries, we got to admire the courage, tenacity, spirit and the skill of the athletes many of whom have spent a lifetime training for the winter showpiece. And they dazzled us with their breathtaking, spectacular performances.

Even more amazing were the performances of the female athletes. They showed us nothing is beyond them. They can compete at every level against their male counterparts. How far women have come!

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We also got to admire China for hosting a flawless Winter Olympics under trying circumstances. Japan had to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to 2021 because of the pandemic. But China went ahead as scheduled, taking all the necessary precautions to pull off a very successful winter showpiece. Perhaps it was a challenge for China to show the west that an Asian country can host such large events.

And so I was surprised that the newspapers ignored the Winter Olympics. Fortunately, we could watch on television.

T MARKANDAN | Kloof

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