July 20, 2011

Olympic Blade Runner: Oscar Pistorius has qualified for both the Track and Field World Championships and Olympics in the 400 metre sprints, with a time of 45.07 seconds. Pistorius, who had his legs amputated below the knees at 11 months of age, races on prosthetic carbon fibre "blades". A 2008 court decision ruled his prosthetics did not give him a competitive advantage and made him eligible for the Beijing Olympics, but he was unable to make the qualifying time for those games. It now appears he will be automatically selected for the South African team sent to the 2012 London Olympics.

posted by rumple to olympics at 01:31 PM - 4 comments

In the coming era of bionic athletes, he will be their Jackie Robinson. Not saying he is worthy of the comparison, but I predict that's how he will be viewed.

posted by Rock Steady at 02:35 PM on July 20

Guess they didn't learn their lesson from "District 9". Those bastards.

posted by yerfatma at 02:59 PM on July 20

Glad to see this. The blades just compensate for the missing calf muscles and Achilles' tendon. Hopefully he can keep up the improvement ... he'll likely need to get into the low-44's for Olympic medal contention.

posted by jjzucal at 07:51 PM on July 20

I still can't decide if this is good or bad.

The blades just compensate for the missing calf muscles and Achilles' tendon.

It might not provide an advantage in the physical act of running, but he fixes the equivalent of a torn calf muscle or ruptured Achilles with a spanner and a new set of blades in a matter of minutes; another athlete faces weeks away from competition with either injury. That's an advantage, surely.

But then there's a big part of me loves to see someone who was told "no" insisting that everyone can go to hell and he's going to do it anyway. I'm a sucker for that story and want to cheer him on.

posted by JJ at 07:26 AM on July 21

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