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Old 09-06-2012, 08:41 AM   #8
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The article linked below is interesting, but it doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter. The pool of double amputee runners is very small. Assuming the “cheetahs” do not provide any net advantage, implies the assumption that Pistorius could have naturally been a top level full bodied runner if his legs had not been amputated. Okay, it’s certainly possible, even if the probability has to be rather low. But whatever that probability might be, let’s say something that may be expected to happen once in X years on average, it drops exponentially if you just add another runner emerging at the same time, for whom you must make the same assumptions. The odds become prohibitive very quickly.

It seems to me the notion that cheetah runners and full-bodied runners are competing in the same sport (or at least under equal conditions) is nothing but wishful thinking. The length of the blades of the guy who beat him was well within the rules, and he could himself run on longer blades if he wished. So now all the focus is on the length, AS IF all the other huge differences between blades and legs didn’t exist. If differences in length are relevant, why are differences in spring action or differences in weight (alowing faster leg swings) between normal legs and blades considered irrelevant? We are now reading that Pistorius blades had been "confirmed" not to provide an advantage. This is complete nonsense. No such thing was ever confirmed. The only thing that was confirmed is that the net balance of advantages vs disadvantages is hard to determine.

The scenario described in the opening paragraph of the article below is probably much less farfetched than most of us may think.
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