Friday, May 23, 2008

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius was born in South Africa with both fibula and other bones missing and had below knee amputations done before his first birthday. Now the 21 year old runs on carbon-fibre protheses called Cheetahs flex foot protheses, J shaped blades which has earned him the title the fastest man with no legs. At the last Paralympics he won a gold medal in the 200 m. Oscar has also competed in two international races against able-bodied athletes and was keen to do the same in Beijing, However his hopes were dashed earlier this year when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) determined using Cheetahs would give the bilateral amputee an unfair advantage. Under rule 144.2 which prohibits technical devices that aid performance the IAAF commissioned research to determine the status of the prostheses. After due consideration of the evidence presented to them, they disqualified the runner from Olympic competition. Oscar Pistorius recently appealed the decision successfully winning him the right to compete with able-bodied athletes. The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, has ruled that Oscar Pistorius is eligible to participate in International Association of Athletics Federations sanctioned competitions. The original evidence presented to the IAAF was shown to fundamentally flawed and the scientists for Pistorius refuted the IAAF findings on two major points: the speed-duration relationship and rates of metabolic energy expenditure. If the runner qualifies for the 2008 Beijing games, Oscar Pistorius would be the first disabled athlete ever to run against able-bodied athletes in an Olympic event. The International Paralympic Committee may commission further research into the prosthetic equipment which is made by an Icelandic manufacturer of the Cheetah Flex-Foot prostheses (J-shaped, high-performance prostheses used for running).

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