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  1. #1

    'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    A double amputee sprinter has won the right to be eligible to compete at this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing after sport's highest court backed his appeal against a ban imposed by athletics authorities.

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that South African Oscar Pistorius, who runs on prosthetic blades, is eligible to compete against able-bodied athletes.

    Pistorius, 21, who lost both legs below the knees when he was a baby, runs on shock-absorbing carbon-fiber prosthetics that resemble bent skis -- earning him the nickname "Blade Runner."

    Pistorius, a Paralympic Games champion and world record holder, had lobbied the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to allow him to compete at the Olympics this August, but after extensive tests the IAAF ruled in January that his J-shaped prosthetics qualify as technical aids, which are banned in IAAF-governed sports.

    The IAAF does allow athletes with prosthetics to compete in able-bodied sports, as long as the IAAF believes they do not give the athlete an unfair edge.

    But Friday's ruling by the CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland, overturned that verdict. In a statement, it said that its panel had "not been persuaded that there was sufficient evidence of any metabolic advantage in favor of a double-amputee" using Pistorius' blades.

    More: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SPORT/05...ius/index.html


    Not everyone is in favour of Pistorius competing with the "regulars" but I'm happy to see him go to Beijing. It adds to the diversity on offer and places a "disabled" athlete before an even greater audience. It's all about seeing possibilities, not limitations.
    Coach Marion, at your service!

  2. #2

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Coooool!


  3. #3

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    So "Others" score two major wins this week. I wanted to see the twisted logic they would've used to say he couldn't compete.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  4. #4
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    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    I realize that the Olympics isn't subject to the American With Disabilities Act, but seriously... How could not allowing this guy to compete be viewed as anything BUT discriminatory? Rules be damned. This is a beautiful story.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  5. #5

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Yeah, I'm not for this.

    I can't help but think that although his disability is sad and all, his springy, snappy legs give him a bionic advantage over more able-bodied competition.

    He is at an unfair advantage, and I worry about precedents this may set in terms of athletes seeking some sort of enhancement through technology.
    It's hard out here for a Zuz.

  6. #6
    Grand Slam Champion missinandre's Avatar
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    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Normally, I'd say cool too....except that right now...they are in the testing stages of prosthetics that are "enhanced"...otherwise known as "bionic"....

    This is a catch 22 situation....The guy is a amputee....what can be more painful than that? And we shouldn't not allow him to participate because of his disability....

    But it creates a fine line because his err substitute for his loss....can put the other players at a disadvantage and....there is no way to tell just how much it is a disadvantage....

    Sad situation either way you look at it....

    Remember when the courts ruled that the PGA had discriminated against that golfer who had a disability (back problem or something) and they refused to let him use the golf cart on the tour and the courts ruled in his favor? Personally Ithought that was a horrendous decision because....it gave him a clear advantage over the other players who had to walk how many miles a full day to complete their rounds...

    I can't wait for pregnant competing female athletes to start complaining and suing

  7. #7

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Just about all employers in the real world have to deal with making special accommodations for the disabled. Why should athletics be any different? This man went through the correct channels, and apparently proved that he does not have any untoward advantages. Good enough for me. I completely applaud this decision.

    As for the golfer's story- Casey Martin- I urge folks to thoroughly read through as I have, what this man went through- and then talk about his supposed advantages with using a cart. IMO, it's called being humane. Casey Martin didn't exactly tear up the golfing world thanks to using carts. He quite possibly would have been a great golfer without his disability. At least, he had the chance to compete with these accommodations.

    If and when we deal with humans who have their limbs removed to attach some kind of bionic marvels for the sake of Olympic glory (just as folks worried so-help-me at the time of Renee Richards that men were going to have their sex changed so that they could complete on the women's tour)- then, we can re-review all of this.

    I also ask folks to put themselves in the shoes of the disabled- and/or imagine how you'd feel if this all were your loved one- just to see if this might give some perspective.
    Last edited by nelslus; 05-27-2008 at 08:39 PM.
    Old News= Madison Brengle. New News- It's All About Amanda Fink Chichi Scholl, FULL CIRCLE OF LIFE MADISON BRENGLE BABY!!!!!!!!

  8. #8

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by missinandre View Post
    I can't wait for pregnant competing female athletes to start complaining and suing
    Oof. You had made some good points until then. Too far, but I understand the sentiment.

    I'm all for letting this guy compete. It'll be worth debating if he wins a medal, but I don't see any point to crushing his dreams right now.

  9. #9

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie02123 View Post
    Oof. You had made some good points until then. Too far, but I understand the sentiment.

    I'm all for letting this guy compete. It'll be worth debating if he wins a medal, but I don't see any point to crushing his dreams right now.
    But it's way way too late to debate it at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by nelslus View Post
    Just about all employers in the real world have to deal with making special accommodations for the disabled. Why should athletics be any different? This man went through the correct channels, and apparently proved that he does not have any untoward advantages. Good enough for me. I completely applaud this decision.

    As for the golfer's story- Casey Martin- I urge folks to thoroughly read through as I have, what this man went through- and then talk about his supposed advantages with using a cart. IMO, it's called being humane. Casey Martin didn't exactly tear up the golfing world thanks to using carts. He quite possibly would have been a great golfer without his disability. At least, he had the chance to compete with these accommodations.

    If and when we deal with humans who have their limbs removed to attach some kind of bionic marvels for the sake of Olympic glory (just as folks worried so-help-me at the time of Renee Richards that men were going to have their sex changed so that they could complete on the women's tour)- then, we can re-review all of this.

    I also ask folks to put themselves in the shoes of the disabled- and/or imagine how you'd feel if this all were your loved one- just to see if this might give some perspective.
    But this shouldn't be an issue of sympathy or emotions, as nice as that might be. It's an issue of fairness in competition. If there was a tennis player who lost an arm as a child, and got a new bionic arm that could hit 400 MPH serves, would you want her playing Venus?
    It's hard out here for a Zuz.

  10. #10

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by oohsalmon View Post
    But it's way way too late to debate it at that point.



    But this shouldn't be an issue of sympathy or emotions, as nice as that might be. It's an issue of fairness in competition. If there was a tennis player who lost an arm as a child, and got a new bionic arm that could hit 400 MPH serves, would you want her playing Venus?
    Salmon: Again- when they build a bionic arm that helps folks to serve 400 MPH- then, this issue is worth revisiting. But- first of all- this is not happening. Second- as I already said- this man went through the proper channels- and obviously they also felt he did not have an unfair advantage. I believe that they are building these prosthetics to give folks an equal chance- not to become superhuman.

    AND- I still feel that it doesn't hurt to put yourself in someone else's shoes in any circumstances when you are making decisions. It can be OK just to do the "right thing" at least sometimes. While of course I respect your disagreeing with this point, Salmon (and while of course I also know you to be a fully empathetic person)- I've said more here than just asking for the sympathy vote- as your choosing to focus only on one point might suggest. I'm a tad surprised you'd choose to just pick out one point rather than taking on my argument as a whole.
    Last edited by nelslus; 05-28-2008 at 06:20 AM.
    Old News= Madison Brengle. New News- It's All About Amanda Fink Chichi Scholl, FULL CIRCLE OF LIFE MADISON BRENGLE BABY!!!!!!!!

  11. #11
    Grand Slam Champion missinandre's Avatar
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    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by nelslus View Post
    Just about all employers in the real world have to deal with making special accommodations for the disabled. Why should athletics be any different? This man went through the correct channels, and apparently proved that he does not have any untoward advantages. Good enough for me. I completely applaud this decision.

    As for the golfer's story- Casey Martin- I urge folks to thoroughly read through as I have, what this man went through- and then talk about his supposed advantages with using a cart. IMO, it's called being humane. Casey Martin didn't exactly tear up the golfing world thanks to using carts. He quite possibly would have been a great golfer without his disability. At least, he had the chance to compete with these accommodations.

    If and when we deal with humans who have their limbs removed to attach some kind of bionic marvels for the sake of Olympic glory (just as folks worried so-help-me at the time of Renee Richards that men were going to have their sex changed so that they could complete on the women's tour)- then, we can re-review all of this.

    I also ask folks to put themselves in the shoes of the disabled- and/or imagine how you'd feel if this all were your loved one- just to see if this might give some perspective.

    Just to prove I'm not being inhumane....I've got a life long handicap....and while I'm not a pro athlete....it is a handicap that made everyday life darn near impossible and depressing and miserable for me when I was growing up.

    I do think it's cool that he can do this....but...look at if he wins....there are going to be questions upon questions.....

  12. #12
    Grand Slam Champion missinandre's Avatar
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    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Quote Originally Posted by oohsalmon View Post
    But it's way way too late to debate it at that point.



    But this shouldn't be an issue of sympathy or emotions, as nice as that might be. It's an issue of fairness in competition. If there was a tennis player who lost an arm as a child, and got a new bionic arm that could hit 400 MPH serves, would you want her playing Venus?

    Excellent point from oohsalmon...but...it doesn't even have to be 400mph...what if it were just bionic enough that it was....one or two miles above everyone else? Or....just one or two miles above the majority of everyone else?

    I think a good point is....the player would have abilities that would extend beyond his/her natural abilities....what if their serve with a regular arm would have only been 76 mph? A prothestic arm that allowed the player to serve at 96 mph presents this player with an unfair advantage even through all the biggie tennis players regularly serve above 96mph....

  13. #13
    Barracuda Pierre1's Avatar
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    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Oscar missed his 2nd chance at making the Olympics. He came in 7th in the 400 in Rome. He has one more chance In Lucerne and an outside chance of Making SA's 400 relay team if he can cut his time down a bit.

  14. #14

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Think about it as a progression.
    Hypothetical case:
    In 1958, Oscar Pistorius Sr. tries to qualify for the olympics, as a double amputee, running on wood stumps. He fails by several tens of seconds, but everybody agrees it was fair, seeing as he was a truly handicapped person and what mattered was allowing him to try to conquer his dreams.
    In 2008, Oscar Pistorius Jr. tries to qualify running on carbon fiber blades. He fails to qualify by just one or two seconds, but everybody salutes him for his effort, and the reality that he is an inspiring figure in modern athletics.
    In 2058 Oscar Pistorius III qualifies for the Olympics, running on Liquid Metal Fiber Optics Nano technology Carbonated Artificial Cheetah paws (BTW, cheetahs by now have been extinct for a few decades). He goes on to win the 100, 200, 400, 800, the mile, the 5,000 and the 10,000 mts, but does not finish the marathon when the plutonium cadmium batteries of his prosthesis run out because he forgot to charge them the night before. The Olympic committee issues a statement stating that the precedent had been set in years past, but will review the issue before the 2062 olympics, now that Nike, Adidas and Puma have publicly stated they are experimenting with ergo-plasmic shoes in order to break the 6 second barrier in the 100 Mts dash.
    ---0---
    The issue is not one of being humane and allowing him to compete. Nobody is denying the guy is worthy of all admiration. The issue is how far to allow technological breakthroughs to enter sports.
    (Then again, I am a retard in this aspect. No way Nadal beats Federer at Wimby if they are playing with a Maxply and a Jack Kramer respectively).
    Last edited by ponchi101; 07-12-2008 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Grammar

  15. #15

    Re: 'Blade Runner' can compete in the Olympics

    Not entirely sure how I feel about this, but something to consider:

    If it can be proven that the prosthetics give him even the slightest advantage and he makes the team, think about the next person on the list who would have had his Olympic dream come true but ends up staying home. Who's to say that that guy's story is less important/less beautiful/etc. than Pistorius's?

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