London 2012: Jacqueline Freney – Paralympic swimming

London 2012: Jacqueline Freney – Paralympic swimming
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Jacqueline Freney OAM is an Australian elite swimmer. She represented Australia at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games winning a total of 11 medals, 8 of them gold.

Freney has cerebral palsy and began competing at swimming carnivals when she was six years old. Her parents managed public swimming pools for a living so swimming has always been a part of her life.

The shots of the swimming are tantalisingly short and it’s a shame the thrilling moment of Freney touching the wall isn’t included - as is the convention in sporting coverage of this kind. Instead, we get a close-up of her checking her time to see if she’s broken a record – a familiar sight across Olympics and Paralympics coverage. The customary post-win interview is also absent here which detracts from the atmosphere.

The sports reporter also mentions Matt Cowdrey’s dominance in the London 2012 pool, with his record medal haul of 12 gold medals in competition (he later took that to 13).

Both the men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams also get a brief mention as they qualified for the finals. The ABC was the official Australian broadcaster of the Paralympics in 2012 and would have had much more complete coverage with over 100 hours of coverage on ABC1.

In a sign of the growing popularity of parasports and the Paralympics in Australia, the commercial Seven Network acquired the broadcast rights to the Rio 2016 Games. Seven will again broadcast the Tokyo 2020 Games with sporting champions such as Kurt Fearnley commentating.

Excerpt from Seven News Adelaide, 7 September 2012.