Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Should People Be Able To Compete in Olympics with Prosthetics??

Double amputee, Oscar Pistorius, will run in the Summer Olympics. I'm not really sure how I feel about this.

One the one hand, here is someone that overcame an incredible physical challenge - the loss of both legs - and yet has qualified to run in the games after a court ruling.  This is a huge accomplishment and I for one am incredibly impressed and inspired.

On the other hand - how do we know that his special running legs don't give him some sort of advantage? After all, they could be just "springy" enough to cause him to rebound off the ground literally springing forward rather than running. Perhaps, they are lighter than natural limbs would be and therefore his more endurance/speed. After all, there are the para-olympics. Why not compete there?

This has been allowed - so it's a mute point now. But what happens the next time? Theoretically, couldn't a similar double amputee have specially designed legs and be a swimmer? Rather than "feet" he has flipper attachments? Would that be fair? 50 years from now, do we let a man with 2 bionic arms compete in weight lifting? I'm only half joking here.

Why is it O.K. to have special limbs but it's not o.k. to take drugs that help your muscles repair faster after training or help endurance runners get more oxygen? After all - everyone could take steroids or do blood doping and then the playing field is level again. Again - only half kidding but hopefully you see my point.

Where do you stand on this issue?

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