Friday, 10 August 2012

The Olympics are on?

As the Olympics draw to a close I admit that I was never one to jump for joy over them. I supported the bid - pleased that London won but didn't know that I would be stateside when they took place.

Fast forward to 2012 and the Opening Ceremony. I channeled hopped thinking that at least CNN would show something of the celebrations in London. Nope, nothing, nada...I voiced my concerns/bitched on FB as I read the 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from UK friends. What time did it air in the US? Seven in the evening...why? Apparently so NBC could edit - edit what? I appreciate in the country that's home to Benny Hill and Page 3 one would need to be careful but really, what's to edit? Yet they found something - the 7/7 reference. I'm sorry would American's not understand the bombings on that day? Or is it not as significant as 9/11? And that was just the beginning of NBC's awful coverage of the games.

I appreciate the time difference dictates how many 'live' events can be shown and so in part understood the airing of recorded races. They dedicated whole channels to basketball and soccer - both men and women. As well as a general '2012 Summer Olympics' channel. This channel, when I happened to flick onto it, would show either gymnastics or swimming. With the odd synchronized swimming and water polo thrown in for good measure. Joy. Didn't catch the athletics, so missed Team GB's triumph's as well as Jamaica's Bolt as it's not clear when it's scheduled to air. NBC has been slated for their poor programming and spoilers so people who had taped an event knew before they watched it who won gold.

But was has bugged me is the utter lack of acknowledgment of the other competing countries. I appreciate everyone will have a bias towards their own nation but if you're reporting on the whole of the Olympics, I hate to break it to you NBC, but there are about another 70 odd countries competing too. And I can't even be narky with just them, CNN was/is just as bad - with one report they didn't name the competitor just "Britain took the bronze and someone from Russia took Gold". Okay, we may not be familiar with their names, but show a little courtesy as say who they are, it's not their fault Team USA came in 7th!

What does it matter now? It's coming to an end and there have been some amazing feats of endurance and teamwork. Congratulations to all the athletes, they're brilliant. As Celine sang, "since the dawn of man, the strength of just 'I can', has bought together people of all nations....feel the flame forever burn, as the world gives us it's best, it's the power of the dream that brings us here..."  Okay a little twee to quote but it's what the Olympics is all about. Perhaps the American media should take note that there's land beyond the east and west coasts...