SOUTH COAST COLUMN | Paralympians have not garnered the mainstream coverage they deserve

Paralympian Michael Roeger, from Langhorne Creek, South Australia, won Bronze in the T46 (arm amputee) 1500m.

Paralympian Michael Roeger, from Langhorne Creek, South Australia, won Bronze in the T46 (arm amputee) 1500m.

The Rio Paralympics concluded this week with gold medallist in the KL3 canoe sprint and war veteran Curtis McGrath carrying the flag at the closing ceremony.

But did you watch? Mostly the news from Rio was relegated to a short snippet at the end of the regular sports news.

The Paralympics has never garnered the mainstream coverage it deserves. Why?

In my opinion our Paralympic athletes have showed the true Aussie spirit with their efforts in competition and life in general.

Australia's Rheed McCracken in the Men's 100m - T34 Final on day 5 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images.

Australia's Rheed McCracken in the Men's 100m - T34 Final on day 5 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images.

Our Paralympians train just as hard and make the same sacrifices as our able-bodied athletes but with far less financial rewards on offer.

Their incredible performances have reminded us all to get on with life and to do your best with what you have.

Olympic organisers and the media need to work together to ensure that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are given the prime time coverage it demands.

Australia won 22 gold, 30 silver and 29 bronze medals to place fifth behind China's tally of 107, Great Britain's 64 gold medals, Ukraine's 41 and USA's 40.

Meanwhile in the surf...

The South Coast Boardriders (SCBR), placed a close second behind Seaford in the annual Australian Boardriders Battle held at Waitpinga on Saturday. There will be a report in next week’s edition of The Times.

Despite a dominant display in winning both the teams and women's divisions, the SCBR team could not recover from the early loss in the men's rounds of the competition.

Final results: 1st Seaford- 6425pts, 2nd South Coast- 6200pts, 3rd Seaview Road- 5050pts.

Luke Horlin-Smith

Luke Horlin-Smith

Luke is a former champion surfer who competed on an international level. He lives with his family at Port Elliot (including daughter Leila, pictured) and works at Surfing SA as well as his own surf brand, Banjar surf.

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