TO RUN or NOT TO RUN?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dreamer20, May 20, 2007.

  1. dreamer20

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    Oscar Pistorius wants to be the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has already moved to block him from the Olympics, with a new ruling banning "technical aids". They believe that the technology of his prosthetics might give him an unfair advantage over sprinters using their natural legs. See the link:

    BBC NEWS | Africa | Amputee athlete aims for Olympics


    At least three disabled athletes have competed in the Summer Olympics:George Eyser (of the U.S.A.) won a gold medal in gymnastics while competing on a wooden leg at the 1904 Games in St. Louis; Neroli Fairhall (of New Zealand) a paraplegic competed in archery in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles; and Marla Runyan (of the U.S.A), a legally-blind runner competed in the 1,500 metres Olympics in Sydney.



    Do you feel that the IAAF is right to bar Pistorious form Olympic competition?
     
  2. dong20

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    While not the question you asked I think, overall that the IOC/IAAF are a collection of idiots with far more power than they deserve. The IOC are clearly lacking in judgement. Giving the 2012 Olympics to London is evidence of the last of of those assertions. I'm not against it, and I'm sure it will be 'successful' in the PR sense I just think it will be an costly and logistical escapade London doesn't need. I hope I'm wrong.

    As for your question - he (and anyone else) should be allowed to compete, without reservations or special conditions. Provided he qualifies and participates based on the same criteria as all other athletes, why should he not?
     
  3. reallyhot

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    me thinks I see a VPL!
     
  4. Principessa

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    Yes, I do. I saw this story on the news yesterday. It's not like he can't compete on an international Olympic level.

    They carefully side stepped the Paralympics. Which have been around for over 40 years. They aren't held in someones backyard. They are held at the Olympic site, the week after the Olympics end. The Paralympic competitors compete on the same exact fields and equipment as the non-handicapped competitors. If this were not an option, if the Paralympics did not exist then I would say yes, allow him to compete, in the Olympics.

    Then again I might not. The carbon fiber legs which Mr. Pistorious uses for running were designed specifically for that purpose. I can see where he might have an advantage over a non-amputee for that reason alone.

    As a point of comparison, 111 years ago the United States had Plessy vs. Ferguson - 63 U.S. 537 (1896), this was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the United States, upholding the constitutionality of racial segregation even in public accomodations (particularly railroads), under the doctrine of "separate but equal".

    The decision was handed down by a vote of 7 to 1, with the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown and a famous dissent written by Justice John Marshall Harlan. "Separate but equal" remained a standard doctrine of U.S. law until it was finally rejected by the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954),[1] is a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning its earlier ruling, declaring the establishment of separate public schools for black and white students inherently unequal. This victory paved the way for integration and the Civil Rights Movement.

    If and when the Paralympics are declared unfair, unjust, or somehow inhumane; then and only then do I see athletes such as Mr. Pistorious being able to compete with the non-handicapped athletes.
     
  5. dolfette

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    no, i think those legs give him an advantage.

    maybe they could design a type of leg that wouldn't, so that he could compete?
     
  6. dong20

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    The modern Olympic ideal is completely alien to the spirit of the Greek original, which despised women, slaves and foreigners and celebrated sectarian religion, nudity, pain and winning at any cost.

    The modern Ideal is one instance where I'd say we have moved forward, at least a little. It seems to me that seeking to ban an athlete on spurious grounds - after all, are his legs powered by anything other than his own muscles - is a step backward.

    If the IAAF are concerned about his extra stride - they can make his legs the same length as others of his height, a hacksaw should do it. While they're at it they could ban anyone with legs longer than average or have them shorten them too - again a hacksaw should do it.:rolleyes:



    I could argue my legs were designed for running too, I'd be wrong but should that disqualify me too? But as for his 'legs' I'm not an expert in such matters are you? I'd want to see some undeniable evidence of advantage before changing my view, which is based on him being human and thus able to compete on equal terms unless proven otherwise.

    I can't be certain but I'd suspect many disabled athletes don't try and compete in the 'regular' olympics because, in general they know they will not win. While exclusion is acceptable as a personal choice it's not acceptable as enforced IAAF policy, to me anyway. The Paralympics are irrelevant in this context - Mr. Pistorious is someone who wants the right to compete with the worlds best athletes.



    If you think they are then say so or if not then say that too but leaving it for 'others' to decide is such a cop out. I have no problems with them at all, provided they are by choice.

    To refer to your earlier comments; separate but equal was a convenient euphemism for segregation and was justifiably stuck down. I don't know why you mention it other than perhaps to suggest it has an application in this case. If so, I have to ask - would Homosexuals, Blacks, Women or any other 'category' of person be happy with such artificial distinctions? Gay black female (only) Olympics anyone? I doubt it.
     
  7. Pecker

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    No, he should not compete. He would be unfairly filling the slot of another qualified athlete who will miss the opportunity of a lifetime.

    At what point would this end? Bio-mechanical enhancements would become the norm.
     
  8. dolfette

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    they should just set limits on the legs.

    i mean...if someone put rockets in their shoes that would be cheating.

    the real muscle & stamina comes from above the knee anyway, so real talent would still shine.
     
  9. dong20

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    But very entertaining....:smile:
     
  10. dong20

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    Unfair from who's perspective?

    Since when is an unpowered prosthetic leg an enhancement? It merely restores function we without the need for such things take for granted.
     
  11. dolfette

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    when it's designed to perform better than a natural leg.

    and they can!

    if it just replaced there would be no issue, but the opinion is that the spring power in that leg is beyond what nature can provide.
     
  12. dreamer20

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    He developed that muscle and stamina from rigorous training, as opposed to the prosthetics giving him an unfair advantage.

    I feel that he should be allowed to compete.
     
  13. dolfette

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    except that the prosthetic leg was developed by a team in a lab.

    and if it gives more lift & power than a natural leg can get through strength & training, it's unfair!

    they need to set limits on the leg, so that nobody is given an unfair advantage, and THEN he should be allowed to compete.
     
  14. dong20

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    But human legs are not solid, they have their own built in 'springs' and 'shock absorbers'. How is a solid, undamped leg an equal comparison - if that's what you're advocating?

    I'm not saying that he should take advantage if his leg actually gives him an advantage over nature - just that if such advantage is unproven and, I believe, currently it is unproven - he should be allowed to compete on equal terms.
     
  15. dolfette

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    i'm not saying he should have a solid leg.
    i'm saying that the amount of spring & lift should be tested & designed to be what a human leg can achieve!

    until any potential advantage is investigated he shouldn't compete.
    stripping him of medals at a later date would really suck.

    but i do get the feeling, from the news reports, that the olympics people aren't even going to look into it. they should. if they put the money into it, if they put the will into it, then they could find a fair way to let him compete.
     
  16. headbang8

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    It's the thin end of the wedge. Soon, EVERYONE will be cutting his legs off, just to get an unfair advantage.
     
  17. dong20

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    On that, I completely agree. How to assess that though.....

    It's the apparent predjudice behind the decision that irked me. Without evidence it's hard to see it any other way.
     
  18. Onslow

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    So much for retirement--

    No. The mere fact that 3 handicapped persons have competed in the olympics in the past says that this particular ruling is discriminatory.
    Agreed on all parts. IOC/IAAF are idiots and lacking in judgement--pt.1, and Pistorious should be allowed to compete under the same guidlines as non-handicapped persons.
    You obvioulsy have no experience trying to walk with a prosthesis--it ain't near as easy as it looks.
    You are painfully unaware of the physical mechanics needed to adapt to and consistently use prosthetics. Muscles, nerve tissues and a whole myriad of assorted issues.



    Speaking as an amputee who has to deal with the headaches and difficulties of a prosthetic, let me make clear, that no matter how high powered the darned thing is, no matter how state of the art it is and no matter how it is attached there is still going to be a difficulty or uneasiness brought into the picture. An amputee needs to learn to adjust balance, use remaining muscles in alternate ways. To think that an amputee has an advantage is ludicrous to say the least.

    Yes, an amputee can learn to use the prosthetic on a regular basis and have some semblance of normality in their daily life and activities; however, there are always complications. An amputee wearing a prosthetic device has to deal with festering sores and blisters, swelling of body tissue at the point of cutting which creates a poor fit to the prosthetic.


    It could be argued, and somewhat successfully that Marla Runyan (the aforementioned legally blind Olympian runner from the U.S.A. had and unfair advantage--after all, due to the lack of visual sense she had developed better tactile senses in her feet and therefore could feel the changes on the running surface better than the fully sighted individual. Additionally, she was not going to be hindered by persons waving at her or holding up signs of support; or, cameras filming her as she ran.


    Oscar Pistorious deserves the support of all people who wish to be treated as regular human beings. If Pistorious is denied, then years from now we will be able to deny a person with some other handicap who has found a way to function daily with an assistive. Perhaps it will be eyeglasses or a hearing aid which will be ruled towards ineligibility next..



    Try being an amputee for just one hour--not even a full day--and then come back and say how fucking easy it is--because it's not. The only advantage a prosthesis gives is to keep from keeling over to one side or the other.
     
  19. dolfette

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    oh, i'm sure it isn't.

    but this is below the knee and instead he has two, high tech, carbon fibre spings.

    he wants to compete because he's running times that could beat his rivals.

    why is it unreasonable to make sure that everyone is running a fair race?


    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/images/nov05/images/prosf1a.jpg
     
  20. dong20

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    Sorry to take your comments out of order:

    My view is that until any potential advantage is investigated and proven he should be able to compete. Retrospective medal stripping would, indeed as you say, suck.

    It's not, it's just there seems to have been precious little effort on the part of the IAAF to do that, their decision seems to based not on evidence but supposition.

    Pardon my insertion but with it there I can't help but think that you may be cutting close to the quick.
     
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