IS OLYMPIAN OSCAR PISTORIUS CHEATING? Read Fully Before Posting
Oscar Pistorius, will be the first ever double amputee to compete in the Olympic events against able-bodied athletes. Overcoming adversity, Oscar certainly is an inspirational human being. Nonetheless, he is facing a very controversial issue whether he should be able to compete. In having no legs – does he have an unfair advantage and is he cheating? Well research has no been able to test (YET) if his new legs provide an unfair advantage but I would like to know what everyone thinks. Before you weigh your input let me brief you on why he is purported to be cheating. Please try to keep the responses non-emotional as we all know he is inspirational, motivational, and certainly a true idol to many but reflect on your thoughts having an unfair advantage and the cheating aspect (i.e. like steroids are not allowed and heavily enforced).
Two Mechanisms (Mechanical & Physiological)
1. Carbon Fiber Blades for Feet - The able bodied individual uses the foot to propel the body during running. Envision your foot as spring, and using spring against the ground to propel your body forward. The larger the tension (or force) the faster you run. The carbon blade replacements MAY offer more “spring” effect creating a mechanical advantage.
2. Less Muscle = Less Fatigue – In endurance sports the person who resists fatigue to the largest extent is certainly at an advantage. One mechanism of fatigue is the lack of oxygen supply to muscle. Oscar having no legs requires no oxygen for that portion of his body. Therefore, it is believed that he has a physiological advantage not having to provide oxygen that able-bodies competitors have to.
I don't think he would be cheating based on his physical condition. If the IOC has approved his and other olympic participants proshtetics prior to entry, then he is competing fairly.
let's do a little defining first according to the free online dictionary:
1. To deceive by trickery; swindle: cheated customers by overcharging them for purchases.
2. To deprive by trickery; defraud: cheated them of their land.
3. To mislead; fool: illusions that cheat the eye.
4. To elude; escape: cheat death.
1. To act dishonestly; practice fraud.
2. To violate rules deliberately, as in a game: was accused of cheating at cards.
3. Informal To be sexually unfaithful: cheat on a spouse.
4. Baseball To position oneself closer to a certain area than is normal or expected: The shortstop cheated toward second base
To answer your question: no, he is not cheating. He is an athlete who has been approved by the Olympic committee to participate in this year's games. He certainly did not try to hide the fact that he is using mechanical devices to run. There is no deceit in all of that.
The Olympic Committee was tasked with deciding whether they should allow his participation or not. They were clearly aware of the advantages that come from those devices. I am convinced that they would not have allowed it if there was a chance of him winning the events in which he is entered.
By making this decision, the IOC was honoring the inspirational qualities that enable him to compete at that level; with that in mind, I suppose you can call the IOC emotional. (And I hope that my response was not.)
I personally don't believe he has an unfair advantage.
For me it's like saying that an infertile woman who has no choice but to have a surrogate has an unfair advantage to the woman who is fertile.
Oscar Pistorius will never be able to know what he might have been able to achieve had he been born with feet. All able-bodied Olympic athletes have the privilege of competing at their peak and experiencing the sensation of being anatomically whole-bodied.
Somehow, I believe at some stage in his life he wanted to be "normal."
He has never broken a world record and will likely never achieve this. I don't see what the furor is over.
Cheating? Probably not, Its true he has less muscle mass for less exhaustion, but hes still using some muscles more than the other athletes. Running is also painful for him, as the bone connects at the bottom of the brace.
Most events are strait sprints now. Sub 4 minute 15/1600's are now the norm. Oscar Pistorius is competing in the 100, 200 and 400. The other athletes will most not likely have to deal with exhaustion.
We could also argue that the other athletes have two feet and therefore have an advantage over him.
1) He has no proprioception with the ground.
2) He is slower to accelerate.
With time, technology will develop even better blades, certainly to the point of advantage. But also within that time, training methods will improve to help the able bodied to also get faster.
The trouble is that disabled athletes will also have that advantage.
Nice as it may seem, it is unfair to put any athlete up against somebody else who isn't competing on equal ground. For fun or charity yes, but not for olympic or world competitions. To devote ones life to such an achievement and then ave it snatched away by somebody who 'may' have an advantage is wrong.
Can we envisage able bodied athletes competing in the paralympics?
Would it be OK for an able bodied athlete to use blades?
Of course not.