VIDEO: Cyclist Oz Sanchez On The Importance Of Paralympic Coverage
The growth of Paralympic coverage is critical to the recognition of both those who compete and this category of sports itself. Paralympic athlete Oz Sanchez believes that once the U.S. more fully embraces coverage of the Paralympics, athletes, the Paralympic Games and even the Olympics will also see growth in their recognition and support.
“It goes without saying that any exposure is great exposure, it has been rather interesting, you know, being out of the country during the other games. I think it was most notable during the London games where from my hotel room I was able to watch almost 24/7 channel live streaming of the actual Paralympic Games coverage, which my being a participant of those games and an adaptive athlete myself was just ridiculously inspiring,” Sanchez said at a Team USA media summit earlier this summer. “I remember I was called to tears a couple of times during some of the track and field events … It’s weird not trying to in any way say that you know one athlete versus another athlete or the Olympics versus the Paralympics, but it was just always rather a question as to why hasn’t the U.S. sort of taken the step to bring that platform to the U.S. market. I don’t have any claims to know why, nor am I interested in that, really what I’m just more excited about is the fact that it has now taken place, those steps are being implemented and I’m just really sort of excited to see you know how this could help the movement, because as athletes here in the U.S. – and i know this this pertains to both the Olympic and the Paralympic side – you know having a decent living as an athlete is a very difficult thing to achieve outside of sponsorships, but in order to get to the sponsorship levels you have to basically be a world champion or some sort of medalist and to jump that gap from just up and coming to that, you know world champion or sponsored athletes title, there’s a big crevice there you know, that chasm that is just hard, that most of the attrition that would happen I would imagine happens in that space, and so having the exposure of the Paralympic games I think will only help sport in general for both sides … I guess at the end of the day just super excited as to what could happen, what can be going forward once we bring that exposure to the U.S. market.”