BBC Winter Olympics sob-story mini rant

OK I have had a bad week. I also know squit about any Winter Olympics sport but I feel justified in this rant because a) I have had a bad week and b) Mrs W totally agrees and she is a far, far nicer person than me.

So. One of the UK snowboard skiers with maybe a hope of a medal falls in training and breaks her wrist. She soldiers on and the next day falls in training and fractures her heel, requiring surgery. Now this is portrayed as her being unluckily ‘robbed’ of her Olympic dream by the BBC team and the ever sympathetic Clare Balding.

Forgive me but isn’t the point of training in these slippy slidy sports to get better and not fall over (twice) and break bones? She was not mugged by an errant snowplough. She did not have a bizzare accident involving a bar of soap in the shower cubicle. Maybe falling over a lot in training means she needs to actually get better at this snowboarding thing? I am sorry she did not get to compete, she must be gutted but perhaps we should not treat this like she was robbed?

Then we have the serially falling over speed-skater Elise Christie. She fails to start well in her semi and ends up in a bad lane In the final of her event. She fails to start well and gets in a bad position in the track. Battling to get on terms she has her hand touched by the blade of a competitor (hardly a deliberate act)  then weeping she blames everyone else, ably abetted by a mourning Beeb. Nobody involved in her alleged ‘incident’ is disqualified.

Maybe Ms Christie should take responsibility for her performance? She was not cheated, she got beaten. Maybe she should get angry and go out and prove she can win in her last two events, and good luck to her if she does. If she fails maybe she is not the best in her discipline? Can anyone in the Beeb commentary team recall the name and nationality of the winner yesterday?

I wish the Beeb would develop just a smidge of objectivity with UK competitors.

Anyway the half-pipe looks awesomely rad doesn’t it. Bosh!

Bruce

Original Post
Bruce Woodhouse posted:

OK I have had a bad week. I also know squit about any Winter Olympics sport but I feel justified in this rant because a) I have had a bad week and b) Mrs W totally agrees and she is a far, far nicer person than me.

So. One of the UK snowboard skiers with maybe a hope of a medal falls in training and breaks her wrist. She soldiers on and the next day falls in training and fractures her heel, requiring surgery. Now this is portrayed as her being unluckily ‘robbed’ of her Olympic dream by the BBC team and the ever sympathetic Clare Balding.

Forgive me but isn’t the point of training in these slippy slidy sports to get better and not fall over (twice) and break bones? She was not mugged by an errant snowplough. She did not have a bizzare accident involving a bar of soap in the shower cubicle. Maybe falling over a lot in training means she needs to actually get better at this snowboarding thing? I am sorry she did not get to compete, she must be gutted but perhaps we should not treat this like she was robbed?

Then we have the serially falling over speed-skater Elise Christie. She fails to start well in her semi and ends up in a bad lane In the final of her event. She fails to start well and gets in a bad position in the track. Battling to get on terms she has her hand touched by the blade of a competitor (hardly a deliberate act)  then weeping she blames everyone else, ably abetted by a mourning Beeb. Nobody involved in her alleged ‘incident’ is disqualified.

Maybe Ms Christie should take responsibility for her performance? She was not cheated, she got beaten. Maybe she should get angry and go out and prove she can win in her last two events, and good luck to her if she does. If she fails maybe she is not the best in her discipline? Can anyone in the Beeb commentary team recall the name and nationality of the winner yesterday?

I wish the Beeb would develop just a smidge of objectivity with UK competitors.

Anyway the half-pipe looks awesomely rad doesn’t it. Bosh!

Bruce

I find the overt nationalism and partisan reporting of the olympics to be a real turn-off. Oh, and the corruption, self interest and cheating. In spite of all this, some of the athletes manage to rise above it and provide decent entertainment.

Bruce.

Give British Eurosport a try. They don’t only concentrate on events GB athletes are taking part in and don’t employ a studio full of so called experts providing pre and post event analysis.

No frills. They simply show as many events as possible, with perhaps a few words of wisdom from Jonathan Edwards.

Bob the Builder posted:

Hold on a minute am I missing something here, so you are all bemoaning the fact that the British Broadcasting Corporation who are funded by the British population are a bit partisan and biased toward the British competitors.

Yes, exactly. But in my case you can substitute, American, Canadian or Australian into the country. I am interested in seeing good competition in sports in which I am interested. The nationality of the competitors is of no real consequence to me.

I don’t think it is a matter of being partisan, which is perfectly reasonable, but making excuses for them - in the case of the ice skater it was patently obvious that she wasn’t going to win unless several in front of her were to crash out, so suggesting that her unfortunate crash (to which she does appear to be prone) robbed her of a medal is simply rubbish. I agree with Bruce on this.

I have another gripe with the BBC: given that the Events are happening when most People in Britain are unable to watch, it is good that the in the evening the Beeb has an hour long highlights show on BBC1 and another hour long one following it on BBC4. But why, oh why, do they fill at least a quarter of the first show, with presenters chatting, footage from previous Olympics, showing photos that viewers have sent in of them dressed or doing something reminiscent of the Olympics at home? If those things are justified at all they should fill the gaps and provide links during the live transmissions. Then the second show repeats much of the first, or rather seems to show it all, but more fully, though gratefully with the presenter simply provinding links. Is there really only a total of about an hour of Olympics worth watching each day?

With just 2 hours a day of prime time telly devoted to an event that occurs only once every 4 years, shouldn’t they maximise the coverage of the event itself?

Bruce,

I appreciate that you have had a bad week, but I think you are being more than a little unfair to two very talented British athletes. 

Both of the athletes to whom you refer were not only genuine medal contenders, but were genuine gold medal contenders.

Katy Ormerod does not deserve the comment that "falling over a lot in training means she needs to actually get better at this snowboarding thing". As a 19 year old last year she actually won a World Cup Gold medal, so came into the Olympics with very high hopes in a couple of events. I think she has proven that is actually quite good at this "snowboarding thing" at the tender age of 20, and was simply unfortunate to suffer a couple of injuries in training just prior to the Olympics. She had very good reason to be upset about her bad luck, but I also think that she acted with great dignity when posting about her injuries on twitter.

The "serially falling over" Elise Christie is actually a serial medal winner at both European and World Championships over the past 6 years or so, although she has had more than her share of bad luck in her Olympic appearances up to now. If you check her record, you will find that in World Championships over the past 5 or so years she has won 3 golds, 3 silvers and 6 bronze medals - hardly deserving of the tag "serially falling over". Last year, she won 2 World Championship golds and a bronze (along with a further gold for overall World Champion), and was probably 2nd favourite coming into the Olympic 500m final behind the Korean skater who was (I thought unfairly) disqualified.

It's hardly surprising that Christie was very upset at having crashed out in the 500m final whilst in a medal position, and I think it was particularly remiss of her management team to allow her to be interviewed immediately after the event without having had time to compose herself and reflect on what had actually happened.

I for one hope that she will recover from the upset and win a couple of medals in the 1000m and 1500m events to come.        

Look we are a small Island without any Ski resorts and very little in the way of winter sport facilities so it is a big deal for us when we get the sniff of a medal our Winter sports stars are a bit thin on the ground and so we like to make a big deal about the ones we do have and when I say we I include the BBC.

Not commenting specifically on the two unfortunate British competitors, I do think there is an increasing trend at the BBC to think that simple sport is not enough. The viewers need to be "entertained" as well. My personal gripes, not enough action and too much time spent in the studio or on location with "celebrity" presenters gurning and smiling. My absolute pet hate is when they turn to "the reaction on social media" to provide enlightenment on what has happened. "Obvs gutted 4 Elise. Stay strong".

Hmack, all fair comments

My post was a wee bit tongue-in-cheek and also more a reflection the BBC coverage of these events than the reaction of the athletes. Having a studio team made up of competitors 'mates' is hardly conducive to a bit of independent and honest analysis. I do find their banality very irritating. Contrast with the honesty of McEnroe and Navratilova during the Wimbledon coverage. Praise where it is due, criticism when it is fair.

Bruce

Bob the Builder posted:

Look we are a small Island without any Ski resorts and very little in the way of winter sport facilities so it is a big deal for us when we get the sniff of a medal our Winter sports stars are a bit thin on the ground and so we like to make a big deal about the ones we do have and when I say we I include the BBC.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMjMxMTQ3MzMwMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTYxNzYxMTE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg

Add to it the obligatory exaggeration of emotion participants seem expected to demonstrate upon winning the spotlight events. Throw their gear, drop to the snow (or ice), start bawling, then wrap themselves in the flag they've just been handed. Social media is more focused on the athletes' reaction to winning rather than the performance that won the event. How many tweets will ensue from a medal win?

TV cameras dedicated to mom and dad's reaction, as if anyone expected them to be disappointed. Mom and dad raised their arms, jumped up and down, then hugged. Let's show it again in super-slow motion. The years of sacrifice by mom and dad exalted, as if the non-medalists took a different route. All the while obscuring the fact that the Olympic participants might not be the best athletes in their event, rather those with parents having disposable income enabling them to buy better training and time on the snow or ice.

Bob the Builder posted:

Look we are a small Island without any Ski resorts and very little in the way of winter sport facilities so it is a big deal for us when we get the sniff of a medal our Winter sports stars are a bit thin on the ground and so we like to make a big deal about the ones we do have and when I say we I include the BBC.

Yes, so it is great watching the events on the white stuff, and is precisely why more air time showing the British competitors in action in Korea would be good, instead of pandering to the egos of over-paid presenters and “celebrities”, and whilst there may be a place for reminding us of previous successes, keep the footage of that out of the short prime-time slots, but move instead fill any night-time gaps.

TOBYJUG posted:
 
 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMjMxMTQ3MzMwMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTYxNzYxMTE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg

Now that was a great film, and I think captured the spirit of the Olympics.

(BTW, I think the joint Korean team and OAR both capture that spirit)

And re both British competitors and films, the Eddie the Eagle film was both heartwarming and shocking in turn, with Eddie’s determination and the attitude of the British Olympic establishment.

Bruce Woodhouse posted:

Hmack, all fair comments

My post was a wee bit tongue-in-cheek and also more a reflection the BBC coverage of these events than the reaction of the athletes. Having a studio team made up of competitors 'mates' is hardly conducive to a bit of independent and honest analysis. I do find their banality very irritating. Contrast with the honesty of McEnroe and Navratilova during the Wimbledon coverage. Praise where it is due, criticism when it is fair.

Bruce

Hi Bruce,

I did realise that, and I do agree with you about the banality of some of the presenters and of some of the television coverage.  

fatcat posted:

Bruce.

Give British Eurosport a try. They don’t only concentrate on events GB athletes are taking part in and don’t employ a studio full of so called experts providing pre and post event analysis.

No frills. They simply show as many events as possible, with perhaps a few words of wisdom from Jonathan Edwards.

No good if not available in your area!

Innocent Bystander posted:
fatcat posted:

Bruce.

Give British Eurosport a try. They don’t only concentrate on events GB athletes are taking part in and don’t employ a studio full of so called experts providing pre and post event analysis.

No frills. They simply show as many events as possible, with perhaps a few words of wisdom from Jonathan Edwards.

No good if not available in your area!

If you can get Sky TV or Virgin TV in your area, you can get British Eurosport.

Innocent Bystander posted:

I do not pay for TV other than paying the obligatory licence fee that funds the BBC. So I expect BBC coverage to be adequate.

I understand you don't want to pay additional for TV ... but if you were willing to; then Eurosports is available via online at £6.99 a month or 99p for the first month (no minimum subscription as far as I can see).

Innocent Bystander posted:

I do not pay for TV other than paying the obligatory licence fee that funds the BBC. So I expect BBC coverage to be adequate.

That's fine, and entirely your choice, but the world has moved and to use a weak analogy you're free to continue to shop in Sainsbury's but can have no cause for complaint if the stuff you actually want is now only sold in Waitrose and Harrods, and costs a lot more than it used to.We'd all like our £145 LF to fund as much sport as the BBC could fit in, even opening up new channels dedicated to showing it, whilst at the same time also providing a comprehensive service of non-sporting tv that covers the whole gamut of genres from docs to music to new writers to comedy panel shows and all points in between. Aint gonna happen; we live in a multi-channel global tv world where content providers - esp sport and especially football within it - recognise the value of their product to the tv industry. And Eurosport is very good, even down to the fact that its HD is better than the BBC's - try flicking between the two when they both have the same snooker on. Eurosport wins on PQ, and has better presentation and better guests.

Anyway, back to OP. I disagree. If some young competitor discovers an ability and then dedicates a huge part of their lives to being in contention for a medal, it's hardly surprising that seeing it all come to a crashing halt for what at the time seem like such tiny reasons - the nick of the hand by a skate, a gust of wind at just the wrong moment - causes such angst so it's reasonable to be gutted about it, and even though we can profess to dislike it the tv industry knows what viewers want and will milk it for what they can get out of it. It's the way society is now and has become over the recent years. We'll often be watching some emotional situation on the news or similar and the victim of the tv's requirement will pause and draw breath with the wobbly bottom lip, and you can almost hear the producer and directors willing him or her on - "come on, cry for the cameras. Blab now dammit". It's how it is. The BBC aren't the only ones to do this, and aren't immune from pushing the personal interest. We might not like it, but it's how life is these days.

Personally I'd revert us back to the Edwardian era but with all the tech, and the disposable income. That might work.

 

Eloise posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

I do not pay for TV other than paying the obligatory licence fee that funds the BBC. So I expect BBC coverage to be adequate.

I understand you don't want to pay additional for TV ... but if you were willing to; then Eurosports is available via online at £6.99 a month or 99p for the first month (no minimum subscription as far as I can see).

I am not willing to pay more than the obligatory licence - and I’d need a satellite dish etc! There really is so much trash on TV - and for sports I have zero interest in most - that I do not feel paying for more than the BBC licence and getting the other free channels is worth it. I did have a sarellite dish in a previous house, and had freesat - but most of the time that didn’t bring anything additional of interest. BBC if they devoted the peak time to concentrating on showing the Olympic action would be just fine.

Innocent Bystander posted:

I do not pay for TV other than paying the obligatory licence fee that funds the BBC. So I expect BBC coverage to be adequate.

I think that's fair enough. If there is was just one channel available for my licence fee, I'd be incensed if much of the time was taken up by celebrity puff pieces instead of showing the sports. (We have cable here, and just switch to alternate channels if some piece of idiotic feelgood rubbish comes on.)

Innocent Bystander posted:

I am not willing to pay more than the obligatory licence - and I’d need a satellite dish etc!

As I say ... thats completely your choice ... its just an option.  I'm not really interested in sports I just saw the offer elsewhere.  For the record though - the £6.99 / 99p offer is delivered via internet so no satellite dish is required.

ChrisR_EPL posted:

We'd all like our £145 LF to fund as much sport as the BBC could fit in, even opening up new channels dedicated to showing it 

Of course (and I think this was your point) ... many people would argue that the sport BBC already show is too much and not value for money.

Eloise posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

I am not willing to pay more than the obligatory licence - and I’d need a satellite dish etc!

As I say ... thats completely your choice ... its just an option.  I'm not really interested in sports I just saw the offer elsewhere.  For the record though - the £6.99 / 99p offer is delivered via internet so no satellite dish is required.

ChrisR_EPL posted:

We'd all like our £145 LF to fund as much sport as the BBC could fit in, even opening up new channels dedicated to showing it 

Of course (and I think this was your point) ... many people would argue that the sport BBC already show is too much and not value for money.

I am not arging for more sport, just simply that the once in 4 year event should maximise event coverage at prime viewing time and keep the other bits including such inane drivel by presenters  as the channel delights in paying for with good money to other times of day.

winkyincanada posted:
Innocent Bystander posted:

I do not pay for TV other than paying the obligatory licence fee that funds the BBC. So I expect BBC coverage to be adequate.

I think that's fair enough. If there is was just one channel available for my licence fee, I'd be incensed if much of the time was taken up by celebrity puff pieces instead of showing the sports. (We have cable here, and just switch to alternate channels if some piece of idiotic feelgood rubbish comes on.)

For clarity, we pay a licence fee that nominally funds the BBC as official public service broadcaster, obviating punctuation of programmes with adverts. In addition there are a number of “terrestrial” free-to-view channels, about 8 or 10 accessible where I live, funded by advertising. The BBC is the only one covering the Olympics, split between two of their channels (mid evening prome time has one hour on one then one hour with different presentation immediately following on another. At times there is one additional parallel “red button” channel showing a different event, though when last I checked it was showing something That had been on half an hour earlier.

there is also live coverage overnight, starting at something like midnight or 1 AM - for those able to be up all night

Beachcomber posted:

I would like there to be less sport on the BBC.  Drivel or otherwise.

Sorry - I'll just go and hide, shall I?

I’m quite happy for there to be less sport overall, on BBC (ditto other channels): I can’t think of any of the common sports that I watch, other than some parts of events of the winter olympics.and somewhat less of the olympic games. Othr things I might be interested in are similarly infrequent.

Beachcomber posted:

I would like there to be less sport on the BBC. 

That's perfectly reasonable. I, for the most part don't watch sport on TV. I do watch some cycling, (mostly on pirated internet feeds as cycling isn't generally broadcast much at all in North America) but generally regret the time wasted once it is over. The only sports I'm really interested in are the ones I actually do. For many sports there are many more fans than there are participants. That's missing the point, in my view.

fatcat posted:

I guess you don’t watch sumo then. Probably 99.99999% of sumo fans don’t participate, far too specialised, skilful and dangerous for the average person to attempt.

The BBC’s coverage is woeful, non existent. Luckily NHK world broadcast a daily 30 minute highlights show during each 15 day Basho.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/sumo/

 

I remember enjoying Sumo on C4, many moons ago, around the time of the great Chiyonofuji; just did a quick search, and was shocked to find that he died in 2016. 

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