Originally Posted by ninman
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...