Friday, May 16, 2008

Run, Oscar! Run!

Oscar Pistorious was earlier denied the right to attempt to qualify for the Olympics.

The 21-year-old South African sprinter wasn't a druggie and had no record of steroid use. His apparent flaw was that he didn't have feet.

Pistorious, a double-amputee, runs with carbon fiber blades that connect to his knees. He has competed in the Paralympics and holds the 400-meter world record of 46.56 seconds. The International Association of Athletics Federations originally ruled that the blades would give him a competitive advantage against able-bodied athletes.

He appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled that no proof of an advantage existed. A team at MIT proved that the Cheetah Flex Foot he wears do not give him an advantage.

Now, he has the opportunity to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. If he doesn't qualify this year, he has a chance of being selected as a member of the South African 1,600 meter relay team, or he can still work to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

I'm just shocked this was ever an issue. Pistorious' time of 46.56 in the 400 is just a second off the Olympic minimum standard, despite being without feet and fibulae.

Do his J-shaped legs give him an advantage? Absolutely not. The only way he would have an advantage is if they were strapped on to turbo boosters or jet engines.

So run, Oscar, run. Show the world what you can do.

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