T Nation

Milestone for the Disabled

You have to be impressed with this guy.

On the controversy, I say let the ruling stand.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/david_epstein/05/16/Pistorius/?eref=sircrc

And a snippet of him in action.

What do you guys think?

It’s a garbage decision.

wow, that’s a tough one.

out of amazement, I say let him do it, but to be fair to other people does it put him at an advantage?

The only possible solution is to allow disabled people to compete in a sport like wheelchair racing or basketball and have it be in the Olympics. That way individuals without proper use of their legs could compete with people who do have proper use of their legs because non-disabled individuals could compete in wheel-chair sports.

The problem with this case is that if this actually gives this man an advantage (which it probably doesn’t IMO) then it is impossible to prevent people from voluntarily undergoing their own ‘performance enhancement’ by having their legs removed. It’s similar to the steroid issue in that sense.

So IMO the best compromise is to give disabled individuals an arena in which they can legitimately compete with non-disabled individuals. That is my main point I guess, so if the wheelchair thing is somehow unsound it would be interesting to hear what other sports disabled people could compete in. Maybe sharp-shooting, lol, IDK.

How long before people start chopping off their left arms and replacing it with a harpoon launcher for the javelin throw?

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
wow, that’s a tough one.

out of amazement, I say let him do it, but to be fair to other people does it put him at an advantage?[/quote]

That’s kind of where I was at on this one.
I mean, it could certainly put able bodied olympians at some kind of diadvantage perhaps, especially toward the end of the race, but jeez, it’s not like guys like him are coming out of the woodwork either.

He hasn’t beaten the fastest times of the able olympians,(though close). Maybe the olympians themselves could/should take a vote on it, instead of judges.

[quote]lixy wrote:
How long before people start chopping off their left arms and replacing it with a harpoon launcher for the javelin throw?[/quote]

Yeah it’s not like steroids, I mean, I don’t see people amputating their legs to get an advantage any time soon, lol.

I love this story, very inspirational!

But it seems to me that he has an advantage and shouldn’t be allowed. Sucks to say, and I feel for the guy, but IMO it’s not a fair race.

Bad decision.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Bad decision.[/quote]

Well, it could very well be unfair, but to what extent?

It looks like they start slower, then have a more efficient stroke as the race goes on, such as was pointed out, that he tends to come on strong, whereas the naturals are pooping out by that time.

And there would be a non-handicapped guy/gal, who could get bumped as a result of him getting in. The thing is, he hasn’t even gotten the time required before to even qualify.
So he could very well not even make it in.

In other words it doesn’t look like he’s going to be blowing anyone away with some huge advantage that’s at the top of their game. He has certainly had to bust his ass just as hard as the regular olypians to achieve his speed.

At some point, it seems that it wouldn’t be that bad of a thing to just let him give it a go. I’m sure his mindset is focused on being able to compete in the ultimate sports event that ISN’T for handicaps, to prove something to himself and the public. And that’s probably a huge deal to someone who is handicapped.

At the least they could just give it a go for this olympics and see what happens, how the other olympians feel, how he does etc. What’s the harm there? On the flip side it could do a world of good for a lot of people.

Not sure what’s better, allowing a handicapped guy to realize a dream of a lifetime, to compete on the biggest international stage in the world, with all of the folks with healthy bodyparts, or to just tell him to go somewhere else, and let only the non handicapped keep that status.

Sometimes compassion flies in the face of what is “right” for a better cause.

Or I might have my head up my ass.

[quote]lixy wrote:
How long before people start chopping off their left arms and replacing it with a harpoon launcher for the javelin throw?[/quote]

Yea, it sounds funny, but if disabled people are somehow allowed into the Olympics with an obvious advantage then it opens up the possibility of using prosthetic technology that is superior to human biology when competing in the Olympics. The middle ground would be to include disabled people in some capacity, but not in EVERY capacity.

There is really no ethical consideration when it comes to prosthetic technology because it improves the lives of disabled and injured people. So it’s good to set the terms NOW if the steroid controversy is any indication of how people handle performance enhancement.

Re: Human enhancement…

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
lixy wrote:
How long before people start chopping off their left arms and replacing it with a harpoon launcher for the javelin throw?

Yea, it sounds funny, but if disabled people are somehow allowed into the Olympics with an obvious advantage then it opens up the possibility of using prosthetic technology that is superior to human biology when competing in the Olympics. The middle ground would be to include disabled people in some capacity, but not in EVERY capacity.

There is really no ethical consideration when it comes to prosthetic technology because it improves the lives of disabled and injured people. So it’s good to set the terms NOW if the steroid controversy is any indication of how people handle performance enhancement.[/quote]

Well that’s a very good point bee.

A middle ground should be attainable I would think. Fascinating stuff from Sarcos there too, nice link.

Saw some of that a while back and it just serves as another reminder of what an amazing time it is to be alive right now. The technological breakthroughs in the medical field are going to be unbelievable in the next decade.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
Re: Human enhancement…

[/quote]

That suit would be great if it was wireless

I saw this thing on tv about 6 months ago and it basically said that the way fake legs and things are going they will be able to run faster and the para games will actually post better times then the able bodied athletes

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
Re: Human enhancement…

The next generation of bench shirts.

[quote]Reef wrote:
beebuddy wrote:
Re: Human enhancement…

The next generation of bench shirts.[/quote]

the next generation of bench shirts will cover the elbow joint and need a mono lift set up to bench.


Check out the Hal-5. One day I got interested in robotic body armor, which doesn’t really exist yet, but these exoskeletons are the closest stuff to it.

Bad decision. Where will the line be drawn as newer designs come out? Seems like there would be lots more opportunities for cheating, too, like switching out your prosthetics right before race time to a different material that will have you practically bouncing like a kangaroo.