Sadly, the Summer Olympics are now over after 17 days when we were fascinated and thrilled by the amazing performances of our Canadian athletes and by the world’s superstars.
We heard from many readers who had thoughts about whether we should give better play in the paper to the Canadian victories (whether medal or not) or focus more on those athletes who broke world records – wherever they are from.
Our readers are always a very thoughtful group and I heard from some who said Canada’s National Newspaper needs to celebrate Canada’s athletic achievements, that it is a time for national pride. Others urged us not to become too much like NBC, which has been criticized for focusing too much on American athletes. Those readers urged us to continue to give prominence to the great world stories. Here’s a video of what our staff thought were the most compelling stories.
With just one exception, I thought the newspaper balanced those at times competing interests well. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps dominated some days because they were remarkable athletes who set new standards in their sports.
We celebrated our kayakers, canoeists, soccer players, wrestlers and divers with great photography and compelling human narratives. We continued that great coverage with a smart story by James Mirtle on the joy of reaching the podium, whatever medal you win.
Still, there was a one day – one week ago Saturday – when I think we should have done more to celebrate our gold medalist Rosannagh (Rosie) MacLennan. She won on a Saturday and we have no paper Sunday. While we had comprehensive coverage on globeandmail.com about her amazing victory, we couldn’t do anything in the paper until Monday. Rachel Brady wrote a wonderful story about Rosie’s determination – taking us from the family cottage to her large, athletic family.
But as one reader said, all that was on Page 8 of the Olympics Section. The front page was all about Jamaica and Bolt, the front of the Olympics Section was more on Bolt and the Jamaicans, although the skinny photo at the top of the Olympics Section showed Rosie in action.
I think that victory deserved to be on the front page of the paper, despite the wait to Monday. Although we didn’t know this a week ago, it was our only gold.
The front pages of the paper are pages of our history, and we missed an opportunity to celebrate that history in a permanent way.
Please let us know how you felt about our coverage below or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org