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Wednesday, May 16 

Blade Runner

Meet Oscar Pistorius. He is the 20 year old, South African phenom. Three years ago he had never set foot on a track. Now he's got his sites set on the Olympics. He holds records in the 100m, 200m, and 400m sprints. As you can see from the picture, Oscar is a double amputee.

He was born missing bones in his lower legs, as well as having deformed feet. He had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. He took up running to rehabilitate from a rugby injury. I don't know about you, but this guy sounds like a bad ass to me.

He wants to compete in the Olympics. No, not the Special Olympics, The Olympics. However, some are complaining that the carbon fiber blades he runs on are akin to him running on giant springs. They claim that they give him added bounce and that they lengthen his stride.

I think they're scared shitless of losing a race to a legless man.

Hopefully the Olympic governing body will give him the chance to earn a spot in the Olympics. Which, after all, is what it's all about, right?

I originally planned to use this to segue into a discussion about affirmative action, the equal rights amendment, and a few other topics, but I've changed my mind. Today, it's about sport, and the love of it. If Oscar can cram the stumps of his legs into these prosthetics and move them fast enough to get around the track, not just finishing the race, but winning; well, I say good for him.

And if he makes the Olympics, there will be at least one American cheering for a South African during the track and field competition. Well, cheering him on to a strong second place finish, anyway. After all, I still want to see America kick butt.

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That's interesting. I haven't heard this story. But, I don't know, Frank. I mean shouldn't there be separate competitions for those with legs and those without? It's two very different things. . .

But good for him either way.

There are separate competitions, he could compete in the Special Olympics just like he's been competing in the paralympics up to this point. But forcing him to compete in the Special Olympics, at least in my view, tells him that he's not good enough to compete with the "normal" athletes. If he's disabled but can overcome that disadvantage to compete on the Olympic level, I think he should be given the opportunity.

But, let me clarify that by saying that they should also do a little investigating into whether or not the carbon fiber "legs" are helping or hindering him. He and the manufacturer claim they are more of a hindrance than a help. If it turns out that they really do help, then I don't think he should be allowed to use them, same as if he were on steroids.

I know I will probably make some people mad... but this guy has no right to run in the olympics. In my view, he is "augmented." It is like that golfer casey who can only compete in PGA events using a golf cart. To me, that is highly unfair. If you can't walk the course, you shouldn't be competing with the rest of the players who must ALSO walk the course. He has a clear advantage as he can show up to his next shot a lot more rested (not to mention protected from the elements) because he can ride in an electric cart.

This guys legs make it a lot easier to run... same mechanics, but his legs don't get tired... nor can he pull a muscle cause he doesn't have any. Is that fair to the rest of the field?

If there is enough interest, perhaps we can create an augmented olympics and people who can't play by the same rules as the rest of the athletes can all get together and compete... we can put steroid using baseball, track, and football athletes in there too...

Yep. . .I agree with e.

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