The Bionic Man Competeth

by Ryan on May 16, 2008

in Anything Else,Sports

Oscar Pistorius, a man who needed part of his legs amputated as a young child, has been cleared by the IAAF to compete in the Beijing Olympics.  This point is controversial because some believe that his prosthetic limbs could indicate an unfair advantage against non-bionic opponents, and the “Paralympics” is an existing competitive body for those like Pistorius.

I’ll be honest:  I’d love to see this guy compete out of curiosity.  Prosthetic technology has innovated leaps and bounds (no pun intended) over the last decade.  What if Oscar defeats his opponents by a wide margin?  Will fairness be an issue?  Will some crazy competitive psycho lop his own legs off to gain a competitive advantage, if an advantage is shown to exist, for the 2012 games?  Um… probably not, but Oscar will get the chance to shine (or at least compete) in Beijing. 

I’m rooting for him!

Daily Mail UK photo.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wolbring May 17, 2008 at 12:08 am

a piece where I covered the case may be of interest
in SCRIPT-ed – A Journal of Law, Technology & Society (open access journal)

Oscar Pistorius and the Future Nature of Olympic, Paralympic and Other Sports
Gregor Wolbring, pp.139-160 April 15,2008
and here my initial thoughts on the ruling


wickle May 17, 2008 at 11:05 am

I don’t know enough about the physics of his blades to know what I think about the specifics of the case, but I do know that I’m pleased to see an amputee allowed to compete. If the world is going to claim that the Olympic games are so important that we should ignore the facts of China, then telling a person that he’s relegated to some other tier because of the advantage of having his legs amputated is … ummm … difficult to swallow.

We’ll see what happens … and in the unlikely event that I pay any attention to the Olympics, I’ll cheer for this man, too.


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