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-   -   Should Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete in the Olympics (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=435465)

ninman 08-09-2012 01:28 AM

Should Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete in the Olympics
 
For those of you who don't know, Oscar is a man who had both his legs amputated as a baby. He got these devices called "blades", that allow him to run like a normal person.

The question is, should such a person be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes?

In my opinion, he should not. Many people question "is it giving him an unfair advantage?". That is totally missing the point. Sport is about being able to compare like with like. I.e. The best tennis player, the best swimmer and so on.

You cannot possibly say that a man running on blades is the same as a man running with normal legs. That very fact makes it unfair. What do you guys think?

Say Chi Sin Lo 08-09-2012 02:11 AM

Sport is about who has the talent, and backs that talent with hard work and determination.

You can give the same sets of blades to another disabled person and chances are, s/he won't be an Olympian.

He finished 8th in the 400M of the semifinal, what advantage?

At the same time, finishing 8th in the semifinal of the Olympics is quite an accomplishment.

He should be allowed and continue to compete in the Olympics. I will look forward to watch him in the 2016 Rio Games.

Lazarus 08-09-2012 02:13 AM

In a single word - no.

I mean, one has to admire Oscar's spirit and the strength of his will, but he should not compete, IMHO.

Bartelby 08-09-2012 02:32 AM

You can't win a slam anymore if you're not 185 cm or more, so where is the like for like there.

ninman 08-09-2012 03:54 AM

The tennis comparison is completely wrong. What you've basically said is "you can't be a mathematician unless you have an iq of 150+". Yes I know, an exaggeration. All tennis players are able bodied human beings who have the talent for tennis. Some people are genetically pre-disposed to being good at sport.

If you're an endomorph you can't be thin, if you're an ectomorph you can't have big muscles. All tennis players are basically tall mesomorphs. Why is that a problem?

Letting a man with artificial legs compete with people who have normal legs is not a level playing field, however you slice it. He should run against other people with artificial legs, then he could say that he's the fastest on artificial legs. Advantage or not, he should not be allowed to compete with fully able bodied people.

sapient007 08-09-2012 04:19 AM

aside from the physical attributes. psychologically he has nothing to loose while the rest of the runners have everything to loose resulting in a competitive edge

Bartelby 08-09-2012 04:24 AM

Your point was not 'unfair advantage' originally, but alikeness, and now that does not work you've gone back to the 'not a level playing field' argument.

jmverdugo 08-09-2012 04:39 AM

I think this was an experiment by the Olympic Committee, I think it was a good idea to allow Pistorious to compete this time, he wanted to compete, he is good enough to do it and do it right and it was good for the sport.

I do not think it is unfair for anybody but Pistorious himself but if he is up to the challenge why not?? Obviously he did not blow up the competition and broke the world record or anything like that, so in his case the blades are not a big advantage. Also, It is possible to know the benefit a person would get with these devices, for instance you can calculate the extra impulse he may or may not get with them, so it is not hard to regulate the use of them in case others with similar cases want to compete too. He is just too good to compete in other disable people so the next step is to try with the fully able runners, for now this is his only option, other than to not compete at all. I think that for now is ok, and they should allow him and others in similar conditions to compete as equals as long as they qualify, if in the future if it is observable that there is in fact an advantage with the use of artificial legs and there are enough runners with artificial limbs then you can separate them but for now I think is more than ok.

I really do not see a reason in not to allow him to compete with regular runners "just because he is different".

Sentinel 08-09-2012 04:40 AM

Yes, he should.

We already are unequal. e.g., East Africans already have physiological advantages when it comes to distance running. Just as an example, before Said Aouita (Morocco) did any kind of athletic training, he was timed over 3000m and ran 8:15 or so. Very few men have run that timing in my country even after years of training.

Players from developed countries have far better training, nutrition, medicine, equipment, etc compared to those from poor nations.

We've already had a similar discussion a year or so back regarding Caster Semenya.

There's enough people breaking the rules or blurring the line between what's normal and not through drugs, blood transfusion, altitude training (some are questioning even this now), gender/transgender etc.

ninman 08-09-2012 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmverdugo (Post 6793186)
I think this was an experiment by the Olympic Committee, I think it was a good idea to allow Pistorious to compete this time, he wanted to compete, he is good enough to do it and do it right and it was good for the sport.

I do not think it is unfair for anybody but Pistorious himself but if he is up to the challenge why not?? Obviously he did not blow up the competition and broke the world record or anything like that, so in his case the blades are not a big advantage. Also, It is possible to know the benefit a person would get with these devices, for instance you can calculate the extra impulse he may or may not get with them, so it is not hard to regulate the use of them in case others with similar cases want to compete too. He is just too good to compete in other disable people so the next step is to try with the fully able runners, for now this is his only option, other than to not compete at all. I think that for now is ok, and they should allow him and others in similar conditions to compete as equals as long as they qualify, if in the future if it is observable that there is in fact an advantage with the use of artificial legs and there are enough runners with artificial limbs then you can separate them but for now I think is more than ok.

I really do not see a reason in not to allow him to compete with regular runners "just because he is different".

But, "just because he is different", is precisely why he shouldn't be allowed to compete with able bodied runners. It's impossible to say if it's exactly the same as running with legs.

The fact that he has no legs means that he's using different muscles and techniques to achieve the same thing. People often let their emotions rule these things. I think the IOC had a PC knee-jerk reaction, they didn't want the bad press of refusing to let a man with no legs run.

People always "oh look at the poor man", and "he's trying to hard, so courageous" etc. That's not what competition is about. We want to know who is the fastest able-bodied person.

A line has been crossed in my opinion. Even Michael Johnson was against it.

Govnor 08-09-2012 05:04 AM

It's a nice story and I enjoyed watching him, but I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. They spend a lot of time, effort and money making sure there are no "artificial" advantages between the athletes. We all know there are natural advantages to be had, but there really isn't anything that can be done about that.

I'm don't feel strongly about it, but it seems like two sets of rules at play here.

Ramon 08-09-2012 05:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ninman (Post 6793123)
Letting a man with artificial legs compete with people who have normal legs is not a level playing field, however you slice it.

You got that right. Those athletes with normal legs have a big advantage over him, so it's not a level playing field!

Those blades are only sufficient to allow him to run normally and safely. They do nothing beyond that to give him an advantage. There are bionic legs out there with their own source of energy which would be disqualified if he were to use them. The doctors who gave him his artificial legs explained all that to the Olympic Committee, and they accepted their scientifically based explanation.

It's really not much different from a near-sighted tennis player wearing corrective lenses or a partially deaf player wearing a hearing aid. Neither of those gives anyone an advantage over a normal person.

We know he can run in the Special Olympics, but we all know that's doesn't have the level of prestige of the real Olympics. If those blades did give amputated runners an advantage, you'd see a lot more of them competing at the top level. Oscar Pistorius got there because he is truly exceptional, and if he had normal legs he probably would have done better.

ninman 08-09-2012 05:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6793222)
You got that right. Those athletes with normal legs have a big advantage over him, so it's not a level playing field!

Those blades are only sufficient to allow him to run normally and safely. They do nothing beyond that to give him an advantage. There are bionic legs out there with their own source of energy which would be disqualified if he were to use them. The doctors who gave him his artificial legs explained all that to the Olympic Committee, and they accepted their scientifically based explanation.

It's really not much different from a near-sighted tennis player wearing corrective lenses or a partially deaf player wearing a hearing aid. Neither of those gives anyone an advantage over a normal person.

Wearing glasses are using artificial legs are totally different things. Wearing glasses makes someone see normally, how can you possible say that those legs allow him to walk or run normally, i.e. exactly the same as if he had legs. You can't.

Glasses make someone see exactly the same as a person who doesn't have to wear glasses. Replacing limbs is a totally different thing from correcting sight and hearing.

jmverdugo 08-09-2012 05:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ninman (Post 6793206)
But, "just because he is different", is precisely why he shouldn't be allowed to compete with able bodied runners. It's impossible to say if it's exactly the same as running with legs.

The fact that he has no legs means that he's using different muscles and techniques to achieve the same thing. People often let their emotions rule these things. I think the IOC had a PC knee-jerk reaction, they didn't want the bad press of refusing to let a man with no legs run.

People always "oh look at the poor man", and "he's trying to hard, so courageous" etc. That's not what competition is about. We want to know who is the fastest able-bodied person.

A line has been crossed in my opinion. Even Michael Johnson was against it.

Of course it is not the same as running with natural legs, he has blades attached to his knees! and IT IS very possible to say and to know what type of advantage he would get with a given pair of blades, they can change the composition and structural characteristics to give him more "jump" or more "traction", similar to what they do with regular shoes, but that can be regulated.

Between fully able runners they have different techniques and styles to run too, they use different muscles in different ways and this makes a difference in the outcome, some are more efficient than others and some are faster, should they be separated too?

It is not a PC thing (and I have no idea why you would bring that to the discussion), if he qualifies and it is not an advantage for him to run with blades then why not? "just because he is different" it is not a reason, there are more palpable and measurable things that can be a reason.

Of course a line was crossed, but if it weren't for people willing to "cross lines" we would all still be living in caves...

ninman 08-09-2012 05:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmverdugo (Post 6793230)
Of course it is not the same as running with natural legs, he has blades attached to his knees! and IT IS very possible to say and to know what type of advantage he would get with a given pair of blades, they can change the composition and structural characteristics to give him more "jump" or more "traction", similar to what they do with regular shoes, but that can be regulated.

Between fully able runners they have different techniques and styles to run too, they use different muscles in different ways and this makes a difference in the outcome, some are more efficient than others and some are faster, should they be separated too?

It is not a PC thing (and I have no idea why you would bring that to the discussion), if he qualifies and it is not an advantage for him to run with blades then why not? "just because he is different" it is not a reason, there are more palpable and measurable things that can be a reason.

Of course a line was crossed, but if it weren't for people willing to "cross lines" we would all still be living in caves...

Could he run without the blades?

jmverdugo 08-09-2012 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ninman (Post 6793231)
Could he run without the blades?

would you have had started a thread if he could? of course not, you are going out of topic here, the whole premise is if he running with blades should be allowed to compete with regular athletes.

Bartelby 08-09-2012 05:23 AM

I agree with this argument, but youre a bit harsh on Barry.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramon (Post 6793222)
You got that right. Those athletes with normal legs have a big advantage over him, so it's not a level playing field!

Those blades are only sufficient to allow him to run normally and safely. They do nothing beyond that to give him an advantage. There are bionic legs out there with their own source of energy which would be disqualified if he were to use them. The doctors who gave him his artificial legs explained all that to the Olympic Committee, and they accepted their scientifically based explanation.

It's really not much different from a near-sighted tennis player wearing corrective lenses or a partially deaf player wearing a hearing aid. Neither of those gives anyone an advantage over a normal person.

We know he can run in the Special Olympics, but we all know that's doesn't have the level of prestige of the real Olympics. If those blades did give amputated runners an advantage, you'd see a lot more of them competing at the top level. Oscar Pistorius got there because he is truly exceptional, and if he had normal legs he probably would have done better.


ninman 08-09-2012 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmverdugo (Post 6793240)
would you have had started a thread if he could? of course not, you are going out of topic here, the whole premise is if he running with blades should be allowed to compete with regular athletes.

Yes, but I can still see without glasses, just not very well. I could in theory play a tennis match without them, it would just make it a lot harder.

He on the other hand cannot walk, let alone run without them. Which is precisely why he shouldn't be allowed to compete.

Let me put it this way, if he wins, how much of it is to do with his skill, and how much to do with his blades? If I won Wimbledon wearing glasses, that's 100% to do with my skill, the glasses only allow me to see the ball more clearly, they don't help me swing my racquet.

813wilson 08-09-2012 05:33 AM

No, he couldn't compete w/out the blades, so what. That isn't really the point, though. It was not the IOC that did a "PC" thing. You need to go back and understand how he got there.

IAAC ruled he is not allowed prior to Bejing in '08. The Court of Arbitration for Sport(however it is termed) overruled that decision on appeal because he was shown to not have an unfair advantage.

After that ruling he tried, and failed, to make the South African team in hte Men's 400. The only reason he is there now is because he qualified for the team......

Ask yourself a few questions:
1) heholds the worl records in several sprints competing against single amputees - though he is a double. Isn't it natural for him to see how well he can compete?

2) Does your same thinking apply to shooting and archery? What if a competitor had an artificial limb that allowed them to draw a bow back and release? Should that person not be allowed, as well? Or braces; a downhill ski racer uses a knee brace due to injury - couldn't compete without it. Should they be allowed?

3) Why do you care so much? The guy proved he is one of the world's fastest - not the fastest.....

Ramon 08-09-2012 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ninman (Post 6793228)
Wearing glasses are using artificial legs are totally different things. Wearing glasses makes someone see normally, how can you possible say that those legs allow him to walk or run normally, i.e. exactly the same as if he had legs. You can't.

Glasses make someone see exactly the same as a person who doesn't have to wear glasses. Replacing limbs is a totally different thing from correcting sight and hearing.

He is amputated, so obviously, it's just not possible for him to be able to run exactly the same as a person with normal legs. Those blades allow him to run as close to normal as possible without an outside source of energy.

It's really not accurate to call them artificial legs because his are basically just blades underneath his normal knees. It would be hard to imagine someone with fully amputated legs being able to run with an outside source of energy, so that kind of a handicapped person would never be able to compete in the same way.

If the question is whether he runs exactly the same as a normal person, then of course, the answer is "no". However, I think the Olympic Committee was more interested in knowing whether or not the blades under his knees gave him an advantage over a normal person. Obviously, no one was able to put up a serious argument that it was an advantage.


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