amputee sprinter: Disabled or Too-Abled?

Amanda Sciandra wrote with an excellent question:

What Olympic-level athlete isn’t an anomaly of the human species?

She was referring to the case of a para-olympic amputee Oscar Pistorius of South Africa who wants to compete in the Olympics. Not the Paralympics. The Olympics.

The “fastest man on no legs”, his times are already good enough to qualify for his country competing against so-called able-bodied athletes.

Sole of Africa

Amanda asks:

If a GENETIC defect or anomaly (such as with Lance Armstrong) that makes an athlete almost super-human can pass by Olympic regulations, why can’t a double amputee with prosthetics? Don’t both have unfair advantages?

I am NOT saying neither should be allowed to be Olympic athletes. But where should we draw the line?

Anything that makes “normal” humans lose? What is “normal”? And why define it? (This notion actually scares me.)

I’m happy NOT to be on the Technical Committee ruling on cases like this either, Amanda.

In any case, it seems Oscar will be denied his chance :

Track and field’s world governing body, based in Monaco and known by the initials I.A.A.F., has recently prohibited the use of technological aids like springs and wheels, disqualifying Pistorius from events that it sanctions. A final ruling is expected in August.

The International Olympic Committee allows governing bodies to make their own eligibility rules, though it can intervene. Since 2004, for example, transgender athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympics.

News- Amputee Sprinter: Is He Disabled or Too-Abled? – AOL Sports

What kind of “disabled” gymnast would have an advantage? On rings, for example?

Who remembers Jim Holt, the one-legged gymnast? (I’m still ticked-off with Francis Tally for deducting him for “missing scissors” on pommel horse.)

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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