I should have known it was too good to be true. The Olympic comittee has ruled against Oscar Pistorius and his Cheetah feet–he doesn’t really have the feet of a cheetah; that’s the name of the prosthetics he uses to compete at an international level.
The South African won’t be attending the Olympics in Beijing, at least not as a competitor as the international governing comittee ruled against the prosthetics as providing an advantage over “normal-bodied” competitors.
Quote from NYTimes:
Brueggemann’s biomechanical and physiological analysis found that from a mechanical standpoint, the Cheetahs were more efficient than a human ankle and could in fact return energy in maximum speed sprinting.
I understand that the comittee had an extensive, scientific study of the drag and the energy return of his angles that would propel Mr. Pistorius down the track. Regardless, I’m not sure if anyone ever bothered asking a very simple question:
What advantages does Mr. Pistorius lose with the absence of his feet?
If we consider the response rate of a toe hitting the ground, sending the signal to the brain to start the next motion, the simple fact that Mr. Pistorius doesn’t have the 500,000 years of adapted muscle and nerve endings should automatically be considered the largest disadvantage ever.
How about muscle development in general? In what ways has using prosthetic feet–and to be accurate, it’s more like 1/2 his leg as well–in what ways has this altered the entire structure of his muscles? What natural advantages did he lose? This doesn’t even begin to address how a child born with no fibulae in both legs, amputated to the knees at 11-months has had to over-come the loss in muscle development (this is a factor of time: me having both legs and feet in normal conditions have been developing muscle mass since day one).
I said it best when I realized it was an issue of elitism, aesthetics, and the “perfect” human form.
Last week, the I.A.A.F. allowed Pistorius to circulate the findings from the Cologne tests to a number of other experts. Based on their opinions, Van Zyl believes that Pistorius still has a strong case.
“Everyone that came back to us said that there were too many variables that weren’t considered and that more testing should be done,” he said. “They said a verdict can’t be reached only on the information that was collected.”
I’m officially boycotting the Olympic games. Way to be bigots.