Friday, May 23, 2008

Oscar Pistorius Can Run

The "Blade Runner" will be allowed to compete for the opportunity to run in the Olympics in Beijing, China in August. Why is that significant? Because the South African athlete had both of his legs amputated below the knees when he was only eleven months old! Here is a picture of his blades as he is getting into a set of starting blocks:

Initially, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned Pistorius because they claimed his carbon fiber blades gave him a mechanical advantage over the able-bodied athletes. Just a week ago, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAF) overturned that January ban and ruled Pistorius could compete in the Olympics. He will also be competing in the Paralympics in Beijing in September.

You can read a good Associated Press article about him by clicking here.

This is a HUGE ruling for people with disabilities throughout the world. It means someone with a disability can compete with able-bodied athletes on an even keel. He still needs to qualify. Right now, he is 1.01 seconds from the qualifying time to compete in the 400 meters. Even if he doesn't get down to the qualifying time of 45.55 seconds, the South African team may put him on the 4 by 400 relay team. This is a big step (pardon the pun) for equality for people with disabilities and will be fun to watch play out.

Even if he doesn't qualify for the Olympics this year, he is only twenty-one years old and plans to continue training for the 2012 Olympics in London.

It will be an interesting story to follow. If you would like to watch him run, and see a good video about Oscar Pistorius' story, check out this video:




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Anonymous said...

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