Here are some insightful comments from NN on NBC's propensity to continuously big up Ian Phelps, and by extension, push all things American.
"Some thoughts on Phelpsmania...
Isn't the Olympics about the humanity of sport coupled with the diversity of participants? It's farcical to call Phelps the best Olympian ever because of the number of gold medals he has won or the number of world records he has set. Granted, he is a supremely gifted athlete who has continually improved in his sport, often exceeding expectations. But he has access to the best of everything - coaches, facilities, training, competition.
What about the athletes are talented but face tremendous challenges to even get to the Olympics? They are by far the majority, and I think the commercialisation of the Games has made us forget that.
"Consider this: if Michael Phelps were swimming in a pool by himself, would he still break records? I doubt it. That is what competition is about - measuring yourself against others, and being pushed to excel as a result. This is why it is so irksome to see how NBC focuses on him alone, as if there were no-one else there! Can anyone recall who came second and third behind him in any of his record-breaking swims? Or even the countries represented in the final race? I certainly can't. Oh but I do recall France coming second in the 4x100, simply because they chose to trash talk the Americans before the race.
"Oh and NBC. Don't they know they are providing coverage to more than just America? They don't even try to be fair to anyone else...unless of course the someone else is challenging them for a medal. It's cultural/media imperialism at its height. Give them what they want at a reasonable price so they won't have to produce it themselves.
"One Caribbean Media is making too much profit not to invest it in creating something ourselves. Hows about we start with a global event we're all interested in seeing, like the Olympics? Pool resources from across the region to cover not just the events we are participating in but those that concern us as well. Lewwe see some football, hockey, cycling...sports that we're familiar with and are popular here. Maybe that will inspire some youngsters to represent their respective countries? Just a suggestion...
"One of the hallmarks of developed countries is their ability to have strong national identities, and their willingness to resist external influences on their culture and way of life. One way to do that is to invest in your own people to develop media content. Whether or not it's exported, is irrelevant. If you can make it yourself, you don't have to depend on others to give it to you. That's the position we're in right now, and it is exacerbated every four years during the Olympics.
"But if the very station that's carrying the Olympic broadcast has less than 5% local content, what do we expect? *sigh*"