Sprinter and double amputee Oscar Pistorius is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the International Association of Athletic Federations ruled that the South African couldn’t compete in this summer’s Olympic Games because his prosthetic legs gave him an unfair advantage. (Globe and Mail)
What the commentators said
Maybe “I’m a heartless twit,” said Fox Sports’ Michael Rosenberg. But “I agreed” with the decision by track and field officials to keep Pistorius—nicknamed “Blade Runner”—out of the Beijing Olympics. “You run with legs,” and if Pistorius’ prostheses (called “Cheetahs”) resist less wind than legs, the court was right to rule that they give him an edge.
Good point, said The Ergonomenon, a blog on ergonomics, but “what advantages does Mr. Pistorius lose with the absence of his feet?” They are a plus when running, and “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.”
“It is, to be sure, an emotionally charged issue,” said Tom Mahon in the Philadelphia Daily News, “with people lined up on both sides.” Now Pistorius will probably never know whether he could have made his country’s team, and how he would measure up against the best of the best. “But, no matter how it all turns out, Pistorius should know this: He is a gutsy athlete and a tremendous role model to all. And—Olympic medal or not—he'll always be a winner.”