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Analysis of the Coverage of Paratriathlon and Paratriathletes in Canadian Newspapers

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      Abstract

      From recreational to elite levels, sport has many benefits for disabled people. At the same time, it is acknowledged that there is a trickle-down problem from para-elite sport to sport participation of disabled people, in general. Newspapers are one form of media that sets agendas and influences public opinion. Many studies have highlighted problematic aspects of parasport and para-athlete coverage in newspapers. Paratriathlon was one of two new events added to the Paralympics in Rio 2016, which increased its visibility in the public domain. We investigated the coverage of paratriathlon and paratriathletes in 300 Canadian newspapers using the ProQuest database Canadian Newsstream as a source, and utilizing a descriptive quantitative and a qualitative thematic content analysis. The main themes evident in the reporting on paratriathlon and paratriathletes, in the three hundred Canadian newspapers we covered, were the supercrip imagery of the para-athlete, personal stories mostly linked to the supercrip imagery, and the theme of able-bodied athletes in juxtaposition to the para-athletes. Using the lens of the four legacy goals of the International Paralympic Committee, we conclude that our findings are detrimental to the fulfillment of the four legacy goals.

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      Most cited references 99

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           DA Scheufele (1999)
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4N1, Canada; brian.martin1@ 123456ucalgary.ca
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: gwolbrin@ 123456ucalgary.ca ; Tel.: +1-403-210-7083
            Journal
            Sports (Basel)
            Sports (Basel)
            sports
            Sports
            MDPI
            2075-4663
            29 August 2018
            September 2018
            : 6
            : 3
            30158485 6162809 10.3390/sports6030087 sports-06-00087
            © 2018 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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