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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Should Amputee Oscar Pistorius Be Allowed Into Olympics?

Note the poll on the left (it will be up at least a week): Should Amputee Oscar Pistorius Be Allowed Into Olympics?

Oscar Pistorius is from South Africa, and a double amputee wearing carbon-fiber prosthetics. He's fast, with a 46.33 PR in the 400 meters. He needs meet the qualifying standard of 45.55 seconds in the 400 meters to gain an automatic berth in Beijing (or 45.95 seconds for a provisional spot). Can it be done? That's not his only challenge.

He's fighting a ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field’s governing body.

I agree with Ann Cody, as noted in the New York Times (see: Olympic Dream Stays Alive, on Synthetic Legs)
Ann Cody, a seven-time Paralympic medalist for the United States in basketball and track and field who sits on the governing board of the International Paralympic Committee, added: “It sends a message. People with disabilities can see people like them compete, and they’ll connect. They’ll say, ‘Maybe I can do that, too.’"
I want this to work. But no. I don't think it will. My reading of the study of his performance suggests the advantage is too much.

What should he do? Fight for the right, and graciously accept whatever results. Already, he has put a hard question that needs consideration.

1 comment:

bryan said...

I'm skeptical as to Oscar's "lack of advantage" given that he runs the fastest closing 200 in the history of the sport. That said, what do I know? I mean, besides the fact that most people talk about the wrong issues when they talk about Oscar.

http://optimaltraining.typepad.com/blog/2008/05/oscar-pistorius.html

I also made a page specifically about Oscar. It's like Wikipedia, only it has videos, interviews, polls, etc.

http://www.squidoo.com/oscar_pistorius