Pistorius has been replaced, s

Pistorius has been replaced, says Paralympic president…Er, actually he didn’t

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Why the sensationalisation of the media means they so often get it wrong

Pistorius has been replaced, s

A reader, Jo Forbes, writes:

Whilst browsing the internet I came across an article on your website about Oscar Pistorius. Whilst I respect the opinions and professionalism of your writers, I felt compelled to write a response to this article as I strongly disagree with the sensationalist angle it took. My intention is not to offend, but to challenge the senationalism that is so often found in the media.

Too many times the media twists and turns a story until it no longer remotely resembles the truth. Unfortunately, this is what has happened with Clair Horn’s article titled Pistorius has been replaced, says Paralympic president

What the president actually said, and I quote from Ms Horn’s article, is there is a ‘a brand new group of household names’ emerging from the Paralympics, to which Ms Horn believes is diplomatic way of Mr Craven claiming Pistorius ‘won’t be missed’. Forgive my ignorance but I am at a loss as to why the writer has confused an emerging group of new stars with the loss of an old one. Mr Craven didn’t say speculate on whether Mr Pistorius has been ‘replaced’ so to say that he has done is to misconstrue the truth.

Further to this, Mr Craven expressed his delight at the ‘new group of global stars’ who have enjoyed fame as a result of the Paralympics. This is another positive comment on the legacy of the London Paralympics and again I fail to see any reference to Oscar Pistorius and the fact that he has been ‘replaced’.

What Mr Craven is referring to is the success of how Paralympic athletes have been adopted into the hearts of the public. As you will be fully aware, Paralympic athletes were, even up to a few years ago, not received as well as abled-bodied athletes and so what Ms Horne has missed, is the opportunity to report on the rightful acceptance by the public to recognise Paralympic athletes as true sporting heroes.

Some people may wish to turn Mr Craven’s comments into a slight on someone who must still be considered a great sporting hero, but this is doing an injustice to all the Paralympic athletes from all over the world who, due to the increased coverage of the Paralympic games, have finally been noticed in their own right. These athletes would still give Mr Pistorius a run for his money if the tragic events of February 2013 had not happened. There would be much made of the rivalry between emerging stars such as Oliveira and Peacock and Pistorius if he was still competing. To misunderstand comments about the quality of Paralympic athletes and turn them into a negative portrayal of one, only highlights that there are many people who still have a long way to go before they put the triumphs of the masses before tribulations of the few.