Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Politics Of Sport - When A Poppy Becomes State-Sanctioned Remembrance


By Shane Thomas

It's said that Christmas starts earlier every year. It increasingly feels the same regarding the wearing of poppies in November to commemorate Britain's Armed Forces. Two years ago, the cause célèbre was the wearing (or non-wearing) of the "poppy hijab". In 2016, it's football that is the site of controversy, as England played Scotland at Wembley last Friday. To mark Armistice Day, the players wore black armbands with poppies embroidered onto them. This was in deliberate contravention of FIFA regulations, which decree, "political, religious, commercial, personal statements, images and/or other announcements, is strictly prohibited."

Read the rest of this piece on Media Diversified.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

After Rio


By Shane Thomas

Given the panoply of portentous prognostications leading into Rio 2016, received wisdom ultimately deemed this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games as a success: The sport was thrilling; the events passed without much disruption; athletes weren't ridden by the Zika virus; and Brazil doesn't appear to be a real-life rendering of The Walking Dead. What were we all so worried about?

And if your took your cue from the bulk of the established press, it would be understandable for you to have reached the same conclusion. Despite the anxiety, the displacement, and the protests, it was quite clear after the first few days of competition that even if it was an unwise choice for the Games to be in Rio, they were here now, so we may as well try to enjoy it.


But our concerns should never really have been about what happened during the Games. It should be about what's going to happen now that they are over...


Read the rest of the piece at Media Diversified.


The Greatest Events in Sporting History" is available to download from http://www.simplysyndicated.com/shows/sportinghistory/, e-mail us at sportshistoryshow@googlemail.com and you can follow us on Twitter @TGEISH

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Paralympics Lesson In Allyship


By Shane Thomas

I'm sure you've heard of the African aphorism (used to the point of such cliche that one sometimes questions its origins), "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Well, in the Paralympics, get you an athlete who can do both.

One of the standout events of the athletics portion of the Games are the T11 (visually impaired) sprints, where the sprinter in question is attached (normally by the wrist) to a guide, who is there to offset the sprinters lack of sight.


While the natural speed of the athlete is crucial, of equal importance is the way they collaborate with their guide. It was meant as a flippant joke, but Channel 4's The Last Leg has a point when they quipped that you couldn't attach Usain Bolt to a toddler and expect it to win T11 races...

Read the rest of the piece at Media Diversified.

Saturday, 17 September 2016


By Shane Thomas

I'm sure many of us have done at least one thing in our lives that took a substantial amount of time and effort: completing a degree; moving house; or passing your driving test. And when it's done, we can relax, look back on our achievement and think, "Glad that's over. Don't fancy going through that again."

But imagine that being your whole life. Daunting challenges being the norm, rather than the exception. And not only do you accept this as your state of being; you actively embrace it.


Can you relate? No, me neither. But elite athletes can, not least the ones currently competing in Rio. And in that exclusive sphere of athletes is an even more exclusive group; sportspeople for whom once wasn't enough. They've already reached the pinnacle of their sport, and have come back for more. Why climb Everest? Because it's there. Already climbed Everest? Climb it again...

Read the rest of the piece at Media Diversified.


The Greatest Events in Sporting History" is available to download from http://www.simplysyndicated.com/shows/sportinghistory/, e-mail us at sportshistoryshow@googlemail.com and you can follow us on Twitter @TGEISH

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

When Being The Face Of The Games Goes Wrong


By Shane Thomas

Before Rio 2016 began, we published a piece on what we were looking forward to watching the most. The athlete I singled out was Alan Oliveira, who went into the Paralympics as arguably Brazil's biggest hope for home success. While the host nation has other accomplished athletes such as Daniel Dias and Terezinha Guilhermina, Oliveira was the marquee name, not just because of his gold medal performance at London 2012, but because it came at the expense of Oscar Pistorius...

Read the rest of the piece on Media Diversified.


The Greatest Events in Sporting History" is available to download from http://www.simplysyndicated.com/shows/sportinghistory/, e-mail us at sportshistoryshow@googlemail.com and you can follow us on Twitter @TGEISH

Kare Adenegan: Young, Gifted, and Black


By Shane Thomas

When Laverne Cox began to achieve a level of fame that made her a regular interview subject, a common question she had to field was whether, as a black trans woman, she saw herself as a role model. Cox rejected the label, before adding the caveat, "but I do like the term possibility model."

This observation springs to mind when considering the nature of possibility. It's a powerful notion, especially when it appears in sport.


Last night, Hannah Cockcroft continued her era of dominance with her 3rd Paralympic gold, winning the T34 100 metres. Yet also of significance was the performance of Kare Adenegan. She won the silver medal, and at only 15-years-old, she carries with her something else that's precious: potential...

Read the rest of the piece at Media Diversified.

The Greatest Events in Sporting History" is available to download from http://www.simplysyndicated.com/shows/sportinghistory/, e-mail us at sportshistoryshow@googlemail.com and you can follow us on Twitter @TGEISH

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Paralympics Isn't Great Sport With Caveats. It's Great Sport


By Shane Thomas

In the days after the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, the media narrative centred around the Brazilian party being over, with the nation now having to deal with the residue of the Olympic circus.