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Poll

Should the Blade Runner (Oscar Pistorius) be allowed to comptete in the Olympics?

Yes
2 (66.7%)
No
1 (33.3%)

Total Members Voted: 2

Voting closed: 06/11/2012 08:46:47

Author Topic: Should the Blade Runner(Oscar Pistorius)be allowed to comptete in the Olympics?  (Read 2664 times)

Offline CliffordK

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A South African double amputee runner, Oscar Pistorius, dubbed the Blade Runner is trying to enter the 2012 summer Olympics.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/disability_sport/9434999.stm


He has several Paralympic records, but his times are still one or two seconds behind the world records for "normals".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Pistorius#Time_comparisons

The knee jerk reaction of the IAAF was to ban the prosthetic devices, (although they seem to allow shoes which may give some runners an unfair advantage over the barefoot runners).

The decision was later successfully appealed and Oscar Pistorius was cleared to run in competitive "normal" sports events, although at least in the 2011 World Championships in Daegu 4x400 relay he was required to run in the first leg of the race which required runners to stay in their lanes "as a safety issue".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Pistorius#Dispute_over_prosthetics


 

Offline RD

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Maybe fair if they weighed the same as fleshy calves and feet ...

Quote
Weyand and Bundle based their conclusions on data indicating:

    Pistorius' lightweight blades allow him to reposition his limbs 15.7 percent more rapidly than five of the most recent former world-record holders in the 100-meter dash.
    The springy, lightweight blades allow Pistorius to attain the same sprinting speeds while applying 20 percent less ground force than intact-limb runners.
    The springy blades reduce the muscle forces Pistorius requires for sprinting to less than half of intact-limb levels.

Peter Weyand is an associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics in SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development.

Matthew Bundle is an assistant professor of biomechanics in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091117184539.htm


Springy prosthetics can give an advantage when running & jumping ...
38;#t=15s
t=30sec
« Last Edit: 10/05/2012 11:03:22 by RD »
 

Offline David Cooper

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I can't answer the poll question as it's incorrectly framed - yes he should be allowed to take part in the Olympics, but not necessarily in the races he wants to take part in. It could be said, of course, that he has no advantage that any other runner can't acquire - they could all have their legs amputated and replaced with the same kit. It's actually quite possible to use the same kit without amputating your legs, but the weight of your legs will be a disadvantage, particularly when it comes to accelerating them forwards. Maybe the answer is for him to have weights added in the right places to level things up, but he's at a disadvantage too in some ways, such as having less muscle, so it's never going to be fair. Of course, sport isn't fair when you analyse it fully anyway - people have genetic advantages which make the whole business unfair, whether it's through size, power or intelligence, so thinking about it too much spoils sport.
 

Offline CliffordK

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There are the Paralympics which he is planning to take part in, but they certainly aren't as big as the Olympics. 

The prosthetics appear to be height appropriate for Oscar Pistorius, so he doesn't appear to be running on stilts.  However, when standing, the tibia + calcaneus should not be longer than the femur, or thereabouts.  It would be an easy enough calculation for the prosthetics.  Or, one could use the Leonardo Vitruvian Man to size the prosthetics.

 Are there "springiness" & heal rigidity restrictions on the running shoes for the Olympics?  Those stilts look wild, and could potentially give an unfair advantage to the longjump, or basketball.  The cheetah prosthetics might also be a problem for the longjump.  I'm not convinced that the stilts in the youtube video would help a person run a sub 4-minute mile, but it is possible.

What some of the research has shown is that Oscar Pistorius is at a disadvantage for starting in the running, so he may in fact have to make up time for the slow starts, and thus the "advantages" of the prosthetics would be a wash. 

I suppose I would say that one should continuously evaluate the program.  If runners with prosthetics occasionally take bronze...  more power to them.  If they repeatedly take the gold, and set new world records, then the records would be marked with the prosthetics, and one could re-evaluate their inclusion.

Perhaps one should include a wheelchair marathon (arm powered multi-wheel racer) into the "normal" Olympics, without restrictions of the participants. 

What about other events?

Would a double amputation be considered an unfair advantage for kayaking or sculling?  What about the person that is calling the rhythm for team sculling?  Jockeys? 

I suppose my idea would be to include everyone who wishes to participate, and is competitive, but then closely monitor the program.  If it seems to become a problem, then fix it at that time.
 

Offline RD

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...Perhaps one should include a wheelchair marathon (arm powered multi-wheel racer) into the "normal" Olympics, without restrictions of the participants.

something similar ...

Quote
There has been a push by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to allow for able-bodied athletes to compete in wheelchair basketball games. The argument is the sport is called "wheelchair basketball," not "disability basketball."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4.5_point_player
 

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