Should this double-amputee be permitted to compete with "normal, natural-two-legged" sprinters?

He seems to only be BiPolar in this case, unless two of him are ganging up on the third. It’s hard to tell.

I don’t have a strong opinion on this, but all of the energy used to propel him down the track is generated by his muscles, and he’s missing some major muscles that the other runners have. It’s not like the prosthetics are motorized.

TriPolar, knock it off.

Go open a thread in The BBQ Pit if you want to have a drunken argument with yourself.

[ /Moderating ]

Neither one of you has any idea what you are talking about. You should do a little research before mouthing off about this subject. The decision is made by the IAAF, which has allowed Pistorius to compete in some venues. But he was disqualified after some studies showed he an endurance advantage. He has appealed to an arbitration court based on new information that indicates he has no such advantage, and the decision is up to them.

Sorry, didn’t see this before my last post. And I object to being characterized as drunken, in this case.

No. He is an amazing inspiration and a magnificent athlete, but he is just not playing the same game.

I think it is time he was paid to do expedition races, then.

If you’re not drunk how come I see 3 of you?

If Phelps can’t wear a NASA swimsuit, how is this different?

Excellent link, thanks!

There is at least one point made in that Sports Illustrated article that I didn’t know - his prosthetics weigh less than the corresponding weight of the lower legs of able-bodied people. In other words, he needs to do less work to pump them than do “normal” runners.

If it isn’t too contrived, then, I think it would be appropriate to add the appropriate weight adjustment to his prostheses (maybe by wrapping them in some sort of heavy material - I’m thinking of the “lead apron” that you put on for many x-rays).

The other runners have a rather obvious advantage over him.

As much as I admire the guy I have to go down on the side of NO. It is entirely possible that his prostetics are better than what Darwin gave us for a narrow range of conditions. I’d have to hear an army of actual experts tell me “no way in hell is this an advantage” before I would want to allow it.

Why not let him ride a motorcycle?

Because he can’t operate the foot controls.

Nice.

Scooter then?

Well I guess there is no difference. I mean, I guess all the other runners have the ability to chop off their legs and get the latest prosthetics.

I agree with the “he’s an incredibly inspiring guy, but shouldn’t be racing in the olympics” camp.

Here’s a way to think about it: he races, is 1.5 seconds slower than the “normal” competitors. Then a slightly better version of his prosthesis is developed, next race he comes in and is 1.5 seconds faster than the “normal” competitors. That seems wrong…

Maybe we should just give the guy wings and call it a day.

That’s what I was going to say. Let him compete, and when the others complain about an unfair advantage, ask them why they aren’t amputating their legs and getting the prosthetics :smiley:

The difference is that a motorcycle is designed to let you go fast without running. Pistorius’s prosthetics allow him to run, period.

If he had roller skates attached to his legs that’d be something else. But, basically, he’s wearing really long shoes. I’m sure every sprinter out there is wearing $2000 shoes, but we don’t begrudge them that. For that matter, there is no rule against baseball players wearing contact lenses so they can see the ball, yet that is undoubtedly an artificial improvement to their physical capabilities.

The prosthetics are neat and all, but they don’t have muscles in them, do they? He doesn’t even have feet. For all the advantage they might confer, I have difficulty believing they’re better than actual legs with working muscles; runners do generate power from the muscles in their lower legs and feet, and Pistorius gets none of that.

That is the problem though. He’s keeping up with world class athletes without having as much muscle as they do. Clearly it’s an enhancement of his ability. How do you define the line where the devices stop becoming compensation and start becoming an unfair advantage.

Anyway, there’s a picture in another thread of Pistorius doing something far better than earning an Olympic medal. At a minimum he should receive one for that alone.