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Xeni Jardin at 1:24 pm Wed, Jul 4, 2012
I’m curious as to why he’s not restricted to the paralympics?
Because he brought a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and won on the grounds that his prosthetics don’t give him an advantage (ie he’d probably be that fast if he had legs).
Very interesting. Transhumanism on the way!
Cue a bunch of North Korean double amputees…
I feel this sours the whole concept of the Olympics.
It’s not too hard to imagine that by 2016 they’ll have made improvements to the machinery that will allow him, or someone like him, to be faster than any natural man.
I think he would have served the world better if he had competed in the Paralympics and dominated them. Wouldn’t it be interesting to watch the Paralympics become as big a deal as the able-bodied olympics. Or whatever it is now.
If I was to be my own devil’s advocate, I could say that shoes are a prosthetic as well and it’s high times we go back to naked, unassisted by any gear, body only Olympics.
Seems like a lose-lose proposition for him. If he loses (or does worse than projected), people will say it proves that he shouldn’t have been there. If he wins (or does better than expected), people will say his prosthetics gave him an advantage.
Then let’s hope he gets Silver! :)
So all but 1 (or maybe charitably 3) of the competitors in any Olympic event shouldn’t have been there? And it’s not like he’s pushing out a better runner either- South Africa haven’t won a 400m medal since 1960.
“So all but 1 (or maybe charitably 3) of the competitors in any Olympic event shouldn’t have been there?”
Do all but 1 (maybe 3) olympic runners have prosthetic legs specifically engineered for running? I think you missed the point.
Why would losing indicate he shouldn’t be there? Having no feet means he shouldn’t be there, but now that he is, his performance as indicator is moot.
Congratulations to Mr. Pistorius!
I am really happy, that this will happen. It’s a huge leap forward for the equality of “differently able persons”.
As I understand it, we have four levels of ability Special, Para-, women’s and men’s Olympics.
You may compete up, but never down (no men in women’s events, for instance). But when it comes to certain events, your “disability” may actually be an advantage, like here where the prosthetics mechanically perform muscle function via material elasticity, or where your atypical hormonal balance bumps your strength up a gender (Caster Semenya), or—and this really is pure conjecture—your lack of a limb reduces drag in the water (Nathalie du Toit).
It amuses me no end that the three examples I’ve listed are South African, but that’s all.
Now that is interesting. Looking at it like this, I can see the logic of anyone competing at any level above the one they’re slotted into
I’ve heard that in American high-school wrestling, people missing limbs (and not using prosthetics) have done very well. Competitors are divided into weight classes, and if someone’s missing a limb they obviously weigh less than they would if they weren’t. This means that their remaining limbs and trunk are as strong as those of someone competing in a higher weight class…
I think this is very cool first. One wonders though if a single or double amputee showed up with something like that in the high jump or long jump if it would be allowed.
Let me just say what the sponsors want to hear, and get it out of the way …
I’ve never watched the Olympics before. Never been interested. But now that he’s in it, I will. :)