Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Unfair or un-P.C.?

I know that title seems a bit awkward but it was the best I could do.

Do you know who Oscar Pistorius is? His story is amazing and I would recommend that you read up about him.

In short the guy is a double amputee below the knees and he runs on prosthetics called ‘blades.’ He currently holds the Paralympic world records in the 100, 200, and 400 meter runs. Oscar has tried to become an Olympian in the 2008 games but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) determined that the ‘blades’ constitute “technical aids” which are not allowed in IAAF sports.

So here is the question: is it fair to allow a disabled, yet highly competent, person compete in an event where the prosthetics he uses provides him an advantage over the other competitors?

That sounds highly un-PC but the facts are there…he does not have the fatigue that other runners do…his thighs do not have to work as hard to move the prosthetics as they would to move a normal leg (pure weight differential)…the spring that is provided by the ‘blades’ allows him to be propelled forward better than any set of legs would.

This is one of those weird circumstances, where having a disability gives that person an unfair advantage over those without the disability. Oscar might still be in the Olympics though…he is looking to get on the South African team, on the relay seeing how he missed the qualifying time to make the individual team in the 400 meter. ‘Blade Runner’ keeps Olympic hope alive