The phenomenon of reality shows is not just limited to the United States, it’s a worldwide phenomenon.  We usually don’t associate real human tragedy with them, though.  In a shocking and saddening story, three French athletes – sailor Florence Arthaud, boxer Alexis Vastine, and swimmer Camille Muffat – were killed while filming the French reality show Dropped.  The deaths occurred when two helicopters collided and a total of ten individuals perished.

Those reality shows can take any number of different forms, but a popular thread has been that of the survivalist competition.  The idea behind Dropped seems to be taking top athletes and placing them somewhere in the wilderness around the globe with the challenge of “who could make it back to civilization first.”  Via NPR:

“The show, called Dropped, was to air this season on French television. It consisted of dropping teams of world-class athletes into remote locations, in a contest to see who could make it back to civilization first.

“The accident happened when two helicopters collided. Ten people were killed — including the athletes and production crew and two Argentinian pilots.

“The athletes were beloved sports stars in France: a sailor who became the first woman to win a solitary sailing race across the North Atlantic; an Olympic boxer who won bronze in the light welterweight category in 2008; and a swimmer who earned her glory at the London Olympic games in 2012, winning a gold, silver and bronze in freestyle.”

Muffat won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, setting an Olympic record in the 400m freestyle.  Vastine won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the light welterweight class.

According to the BBC, the crash occurred during filming at a location 720 miles away from Buenos Aires.  Other contestants were apparently blindfolded on the ground just a few hundred yards away from where the crash happened.  And according to Reuters, the production company behind Dropped saw another contestant die during an endurance-related reality show in 2013.

[NPR]

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