The Invictus Games are a parasport competition for service members and veterans with illnesses and injuries. The 2014 Games were aired by the BBC, for a total of 12 hr of coverage. This study aimed to investigate what messages were conveyed regarding parasport for veterans during the BBC’s Invictus Games broadcast. A content analysis was conducted. Five qualitative themes were identified: sport as rehabilitation, the promotion of ability over disability, the social environment, key outcomes of participation, and the importance of competition. Quantitative results indicated that 2 segment types accounted for the majority of the broadcast: sport coverage (50.57%) and athlete experiences (12.56%). Around half of the coverage focused on participants with a physical disability (51.62%). The findings demonstrate key similarities to and differences from previous explorations of parasport media coverage, with the needs of the event and athlete population potentially influencing the broadcast.
The authors are with the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada.