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View Full Version : Oscar Pistorius - The Athlete with no Legs - Is he a Cheat?



jkmccrann
2007-Aug-29, 11:48 AM
Has anyone here heard of Oscar? The athlete with no legs who professes a dream, a desire to compete with able-bodied athletes at the Olympics next year?

Should he be allowed to, or is his cause a good way to completely destroy the integrity of all sport?

Should Oscar, with his 2 prosthetic legs be allowed to compete alongside able-bodied athletes? What is your opinion?

For me, he should absolutely not be allowed to compete with able-bodied athletes, absolutely not. In fact, I see his whole crusade as a rather ridiculous piece of self-aggrandisement. What is the difference between Oscar changing his legs to the latest and greatest, and fastest, design every few months, and other athletes taking drugs to improve their recovery time, their healing powers, their strength and speed? What is the difference? Frankly, I can't see any difference.


If Oscar is allowed to compete with these 2 technologically enhanced limbs, why can't I, for instance, get a brand new pair of prosthetic eyes at some point in the future that allow me to see the target much much more clearly on an archery board? Reason being, my current eyes simply aren't as good as those that compete in archery at the minute, and therefore I need better eyes to be able to compete - is there any difference there? I can't see any.

Simply put, I can't believe that the IAAF has even considered letting this fellow compete, what the hell is the point of the paralympics if athletes that obviously fit within its parameters don't even want to patronise it?

I always thought the Olympics was completely against technological and chemical enhancements as ways to improve one's performance, but if artificial limbs are allowed in Olympic competition - wouldn't that just start to destroy the integrity of sport as a whole - which gets back to another interesting topic, will micro-chipping ultimately destroy the integrity of sport?

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 12:01 PM
I would never let him in, because you can make his protheses such that they give an advantage over real legs. What's next, being allowed to do the marathon on a bicycle when you lost your feet? Also totally unfair.

Stuart van Onselen
2007-Aug-29, 01:54 PM
But do his legs give him an advantage? Look at the things - we're not talking 6 Million Dollar Man bionics here! We're talking about springy bits of metal.

It's not as open-and-shut as you assume. If it was, then yes, the IAAF would have laughed him off. But they are seriously considering it.

mike alexander
2007-Aug-29, 02:37 PM
There's something so... so... Swift Boat Olympians for Truth in this whole thing. The guy without the legs is the better one. Yeah, he's really a RO-BOT or something! No enhancements allowed he said, grabbing his $600 Nikes.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 02:40 PM
But do his legs give him an advantage? Look at the things - we're not talking 6 Million Dollar Man bionics here! We're talking about springy bits of metal.

It's not as open-and-shut as you assume. If it was, then yes, the IAAF would have laughed him off. But they are seriously considering it.

Are other runners allowed to wear something similar under their shoes?

The fact that the protheses look simple says nothing at all about the possible advantage they may give. Besides, they're carbon fire, likely to cost quite a bit if that is an argument for you.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 02:41 PM
There's something so... so... Swift Boat Olympians for Truth in this whole thing. The guy without the legs is the better one. Yeah, he's really a RO-BOT or something! No enhancements allowed he said, grabbing his $600 Nikes.

How about the hypothetical guy with no feet winning the marathon on a bicycle? Where to draw the line?

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 02:41 PM
<chuckle>

Don't let Nike hear that...

I was wondering that too. He has artificial limbs but are they really better than his real legs?
I'm not really willing to amputate my legs and get "better" prosthetics...

I'm not sure how this man ended up with no legs, it's unfortunate for him that he did. However modern technology has gotten to a point that he has workable usable prosthetics instead of being stuck in a wheelchair.

That he wants to compete is fine. That he doesn't want to let a lack of legs stop him is admirable.

If these prosthetics place him at an unfair advantage over the Olympian runners...

He would make GREAT advertising for medical prosthetic companies:p

mugaliens
2007-Aug-29, 03:13 PM
If Oscar is allowed to compete with these 2 technologically enhanced limbs, why can't I, for instance, get a brand new pair of prosthetic eyes at some point in the future that allow me to see the target much much more clearly on an archery board?

Or simply have your own legs removed and replaced with ones like Oscars?

How about a 700 lb-pull capable arm for your doubly-strung bow so you'll have a flatter trajectory?

Agreed, no. That's why they created the Special Olympics, where those who're handicapped in various ways can "compete" and where everyone wins.

Doodler
2007-Aug-29, 03:18 PM
There's something so... so... Swift Boat Olympians for Truth in this whole thing. The guy without the legs is the better one. Yeah, he's really a RO-BOT or something! No enhancements allowed he said, grabbing his $600 Nikes.

Hehe, wondered when someone would bring that up.

How about making runners go barefoot? Of course, then you hand a distinct advantage to Africans, many of whom run barefoot most of their lives and have foot callousses harder than bone. Totally unfair to Westerners and their baby soft tootsies that haven't kissed dirt since they were coddled children.

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 04:04 PM
I forgot to answer the OP.

I don't believe he is trying to cheat at all.
I believe he is trying to compete.

I don't believe that he should be qualified for the olypmics, politics notwithstanding.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 04:08 PM
I also don't think he's trying to cheat, but I shouldn't allow somebody to run on basically springs in standard running events. Even if he doesn't get advantage from it, it does open the way to using tools that do give you an advantage.

mike alexander
2007-Aug-29, 04:30 PM
I'm reminded of that golfer a couple of years back who had leg problems but was told he couldn't use a golf cart to get around the course, apparently because real athletes walk around the links. Then I looked at a lot of pro golfers and just had to chickle. Which is similar to a chuckle when you hit the right key.

Know why this peeves some people? Because it's visible, that's all. The athletes from richer countries who have millions of dollars in training facilities and lots of money also have a non-athletic advantage. But that's different.

Let's get back to basics the way the Greeks did it. Strip 'em naked, oil 'em up and send 'em out to run.

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 04:41 PM
(snip) Then I looked at a lot of pro golfers and just had to chickle. Which is similar to a chuckle when you hit the right key.
:D


Know why this peeves some people? Because it's visible, that's all. The athletes from richer countries who have millions of dollars in training facilities and lots of money also have a non-athletic advantage. But that's different.

Let's get back to basics the way the Greeks did it. Strip 'em naked, oil 'em up and send 'em out to run.

You know what?
I'd really rather not watch a bunch of naked people run:neutral:

Doodler
2007-Aug-29, 05:18 PM
Let's get back to basics the way the Greeks did it. Strip 'em naked, oil 'em up and send 'em out to run.

It works in theory, it might even help detect steroid abuse among men REAL quick, but considering the average age people get into some Olympic sports, there could be some serious legal considerations to ponder...

Celestial Mechanic
2007-Aug-29, 05:30 PM
You know what? I'd really rather not watch a bunch of naked people run :neutral:
Yes, but they're athletes. They would at least be good to look at, not like, oh, say for instance, me. :eek: :sick:

BTW, congratulations Doodler on reaching your 8,000th post! :clap:

Doodler
2007-Aug-29, 05:42 PM
BTW, congratulations Doodler on reaching your 8,000th post! :clap:

Me and my spamming hands, blew right by it completely without realizing... ;) :lol:

Need a decent bow emoticon. :)

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 05:49 PM
Yes, but they're athletes. They would at least be good to look at, not like, oh, say for instance, me. :eek: :sick:


That's debatable ( the part about the atheletes- Id rather not debate your physique...)

mugaliens
2007-Aug-29, 06:59 PM
You know what?
I'd really rather not watch a bunch of naked people run:neutral:

Yuk! Me neither.

Unless, of course...

Stuart van Onselen
2007-Aug-29, 07:47 PM
I'm not sure how this man ended up with no legs, it's unfortunate for him that he did.

Don't you know the story? He deliberately cut his own legs off with a hacksaw just so that he could get these bionic super-legs and use them to cheat at the Olympics. Just ask jkmccrann, Nicolas and mugaliens, they know The Truth!

But seriously: AFAIK, every other handicapped runner in Oscar's competition-class, including those with the exact same make and model of prostheses are running times well below what able-bodied Olympic-level athletes are running. But Oscar's times are on a par with the Olympians. So he argues that he's just so much better than any of the others whom he beats withoiut trying.

Look, it's still possible that he does have an unfair advantage. The IAAF is having a hard time deciding, because this is an unprecedented situation. It's not as cut-and-dried as some make it out to be.

And using the word "cheat" is just plain wrong. He is applying, through the proper channels, for the right to run in sanctioned competition with able-bodied athletes. The IAAF may allow it, and since they make the rules, it would then be, by definition, legal. Or they will deny his application, in which case he will have no choice, and will have to stick with Paralympics.

One last moan from me: Oscar has never, and hopefully will never, compete in the Special Olympics. That's for mentally handicapped people. The Paralympics is for the physically handicapped.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 07:51 PM
Don't you know the story? He deliberately cut his own legs off with a hacksaw just so that he could get these bionic super-legs and use them to cheat at the Olympics. Just ask jkmccrann, Nicolas and mugaliens, they know The Truth!

If you ever wanted a definition for straw man argumentation, here you go. :D :D


But seriously: AFAIK, every other handicapped runner in Oscar's competition-class, including those with the exact same make and model of prostheses are running times well below what able-bodied Olympic-level athletes are running. But Oscar's times are on a par with the Olympians. So he argues that he's just so much better than any of the others whom he beats withoiut trying.

I've seen pics and most indeed have very similar protheses, but I didn't see other runners with 2 protheses.

I can understand the frustration when a sports man has no competition. But if his protheses offer an advantage that makes him better than the best people with standard legs, that ain't fair either. Maybe they should start recording best times for people with single and double below-knee amputations, above knee amputations, clearly defined and all. That gives paralymics and the like more a sense of competition for those who want it.

I agree that cheating is not in the picture here. It's a sports man looking for competition because he's better than all other paralympics participants, but the other side of the medal is that he may be unfair competition for people with their original set of legs.

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 07:57 PM
But seriously: AFAIK, every other handicapped runner in Oscar's competition-class, including those with the exact same make and model of prostheses are running times well below what able-bodied Olympic-level athletes are running. But Oscar's times are on a par with the Olympians. So he argues that he's just so much better than any of the others whom he beats withoiut trying.

And using the word "cheat" is just plain wrong. He is applying, through the proper channels, for the right to run in sanctioned competition with able-bodied athletes.

One last moan from me: Oscar has never, and hopefully will never, compete in the Special Olympics. That's for mentally handicapped people. The Paralympics is for the physically handicapped.

I think this is a good point.
And I (completely ignorant of the whole story) must and will respect him for his determination, grit and ability.

Whether or not he makes it into the Olympics- He's made a point.

And I think many of us, self included, can be inspired by it.

Chuck
2007-Aug-29, 08:10 PM
I'm reminded of that golfer a couple of years back who had leg problems but was told he couldn't use a golf cart to get around the course, apparently because real athletes walk around the links. Then I looked at a lot of pro golfers and just had to chickle. Which is similar to a chuckle when you hit the right key.

Know why this peeves some people? Because it's visible, that's all. The athletes from richer countries who have millions of dollars in training facilities and lots of money also have a non-athletic advantage. But that's different.

Let's get back to basics the way the Greeks did it. Strip 'em naked, oil 'em up and send 'em out to run.

I remember that. It was Casey Martin. He could walk but had bad legs and couldn't cover a golf course. Tournament rules prohibited golf carts. He sued and won under some employment antidiscrimination law that says an employer can't refuse to hire the handicapped if a reasonable solution can be found. But the tournament wasn't hiring him. He was playing in the hopes of winning some prize money. Should the courts be allowed to change the rules of sporting events?

For the current situation, each Olympic event has a list of permitted equipment. If artificial legs aren't on it then he can compete but can't use the legs. They can change the list, of course. He could argue that if someone breaks a leg and has a steel pin inserted, should that person be disqualified?

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 08:16 PM
The golf cart thing was silly indeed, the advantage of getting less tired than walking will be quite unmeasurably petit IMO.

The issue here is that he's basically running on springs, so the idea that he gets an advantage over real legs is not too farfetched.

Doodler
2007-Aug-29, 08:30 PM
Don't you know the story? He deliberately cut his own legs off with a hacksaw just so that he could get these bionic super-legs and use them to cheat at the Olympics. Just ask jkmccrann, Nicolas and mugaliens, they know The Truth!

But seriously: AFAIK, every other handicapped runner in Oscar's competition-class, including those with the exact same make and model of prostheses are running times well below what able-bodied Olympic-level athletes are running. But Oscar's times are on a par with the Olympians. So he argues that he's just so much better than any of the others whom he beats withoiut trying.

Look, it's still possible that he does have an unfair advantage. The IAAF is having a hard time deciding, because this is an unprecedented situation. It's not as cut-and-dried as some make it out to be.

And using the word "cheat" is just plain wrong. He is applying, through the proper channels, for the right to run in sanctioned competition with able-bodied athletes. The IAAF may allow it, and since they make the rules, it would then be, by definition, legal. Or they will deny his application, in which case he will have no choice, and will have to stick with Paralympics.

One last moan from me: Oscar has never, and hopefully will never, compete in the Special Olympics. That's for mentally handicapped people. The Paralympics is for the physically handicapped.


Other places in the world may not be so enlightened, but in the US, there's an old case that established precedent that separate was not equal.

If he feels he can compete with physically intact individuals at their level, he's got ground to stand on in US courts.

mike alexander
2007-Aug-29, 08:34 PM
Don't forget that real legs have springs, too. A lot of the runner's rebound comes from energy stored in the tendons.

For me it comes down to this: all sports impose restrictions on how they are performed. If the Olympic Committee (proven paragons of high, nay Thorpean standards) say no, then that's it, I guess. My personal viewpoint is that the guy should be given a shot, if for no other reason than the larger message it sends to the world; we're Good Sports, in the best sense of the word.

Objections seem, to me, to be in the realm of bionic man fantasies. C;mon, everybody, there's a movie waiting to be made, maybe even better than Cool Runnings.

Neverfly
2007-Aug-29, 08:35 PM
Don't forget that real legs have springs, too. A lot of the runner's rebound comes from energy stored in the tendons.

For me it comes down to this: all sports impose restrictions on how they are performed. If the Olympic Committee (proven paragons of high, nay Thropean standards) say no, then that's it, I guess. My personal viewpoint is that the guy should be given a shot, if for no other reason than the larger message it sends to the world; we're Good Sports, in the best sense of the word.

Objections seem, to me, to be in the realm of bionic man fantasies. C;mon, everybody, there's a movie waiting to be made, maybe even better than Cool Runnings.

ohh I dunno.. Cool Runnings was pretty cool:p
Thats a hard act to follow:p

Nicolas
2007-Aug-29, 10:01 PM
Other places in the world may not be so enlightened, but in the US, there's an old case that established precedent that separate was not equal.

If he feels he can compete with physically intact individuals at their level, he's got ground to stand on in US courts.

Yes, but this is not about people with a handicap being or not being allowed because of their handicap. This is about the use of artificial aids that may be beneficial. Where to draw the line? I'm a swimmer with no feet. How large should my artificial feet be? I severly broke my toe (true story :)), it sometimes hurt when I run for a long time. Can I take the bike to do the marathon?

Jens
2007-Aug-30, 04:53 AM
Personally, I find it really difficult to come up with a simple opinion on this one. It seems really complex. Just think of sports like speed skating, where the equipment is really key to performance. The way the skates are sharped, etc. And with skis. Obviously the skill of the skiier is extremely important, but once you get into those hundredths of a second, having the latest and most expensive skiis is absolutely essential.

So on the one hand, just stripping the athletes of everything, including clothes, is completely unrealistic. Not just because the legal problems, but also because it is simply impossible to ski on bare feet, and a rifle competition without guns is just silly. Or pole vaulting without a pole?

But on the other hand, allowing any technology at all is ludicrous. Like allowing a marathon runner to put wheels under his shoes.

I think the only real solution is to allow the commissions to make decisions as they see to be fit and fair. And not to expect the decisions to always be perfectly logical.

Ronald Brak
2007-Aug-30, 05:13 AM
If anyone really cares they can measure the average springiness and weight of a runner's foot and rule that artificial feet must match that weight and springiness. But I say just let him compete as he is. If he wins it makes lots of people happy that a disabled person won the olymics and the losers can blame his springy feet and tell themselves that he cheated. Everybody wins!

Neverfly
2007-Aug-30, 05:19 AM
You know...
This whole "cheating" thing is starting to tick me off.

1)I highly doubt that the guy had any intentions of "cheating"

2)Do you guys REALLY think that fake feet makes this guy a better runner than olympians? Apparently every other racer with the same prosthetic is nowhere near as fast. He's just a fast guy. Take his legs away and he's STILL fast.

But enough of the "cheating" nonsense.

RalofTyr
2007-Aug-30, 05:44 AM
"Why should the race always be to the swift, or the jumble to the quickwitted? Should they be allowed to win, merely because of the gifts God gave them? Well I say cheating is the gift man gives to himself."

—Charles Montgomery Burns,

Neverfly
2007-Aug-30, 06:06 AM
"Why should the race always be to the swift, or the jumble to the quickwitted? Should they be allowed to win, merely because of the gifts God gave them? Well I say cheating is the gift man gives to himself."

—Charles Montgomery Burns,

Yeah, but he was quoted yelling that to his wife as she chased him down the street after comming home early to find him with another lady.

Tog
2007-Aug-30, 07:49 AM
This probably wouldn't fly, but why not break it down like drag races. You have the stock class, the modified, the super modified, and the unlimited.

For the stock class, you have to have 100% "factory" parts. You don't have to have all of them, just nothing artificial. Minimal clothing, no shoes.

Modified would be for the people with titanium knees and such. Artificial bits where they don't appear to be modified at all. This includes shoes.

Super Mod would be the people with the springy feet, or flippers. Any attachments are allowed, but all must be used without an external power source. No hydraulics or electric motors.

Unlimited would be as it sounds. Slap a brain in an exoskeleton and point it toward the finish line.

If Bob wants to run barefoot in the unlimited class, he's welcome to.

I don't see what this guy is doing as "cheating" He's not trying to circumvent the rules. He's trying to get approval to operate within them. Just, in this case the rules are too gray an area right now. Cheating would be at some point, one observant person stands up and yells, "Hey! He's got giant metal springs for legs!". At which point everyone finally notices.

Rambling anecdote:
I may have cheated once in a race. One of the schools in Salt Lake had a smaller than standard track. It was 5 laps to a mile instead of 4. This made the 100 meter dash finish line about 10 yards from the fence. For any that have run this event there is no way to finish strong AND stop in that amount of time. Near lane on was a tree. I selected lane one with the intent of running through the finish line then grabbing the tree and swinging around to slow down. It did give me an advantage in the race, since I didn't have to pull up short at the end. It also gave me a really bad "road rash" on my arm. The bark wasn't as smooth at it looked.:)

Chuck
2007-Aug-30, 01:37 PM
If the Olympics allows artificial legs then prosthetics companies will start to design and manufacture special racing legs. The gold medal will go to the person who spent the most money. Those insane parents who now give their kids steroids in the hopes of producing great athletes will also have to see to it that their kids damage their legs badly enough to need replacements.

Ronald Brak
2007-Aug-30, 01:47 PM
Is a person with no ears cheating because they have less wind resistance?

Doodler
2007-Aug-30, 02:05 PM
If the Olympics allows artificial legs then prosthetics companies will start to design and manufacture special racing legs. The gold medal will go to the person who spent the most money. Those insane parents who now give their kids steroids in the hopes of producing great athletes will also have to see to it that their kids damage their legs badly enough to need replacements.

Like they don't already?

If the IOC allows them, there will be some pretty strict standards imposed upon them to match as close as possible normal human performance. Their puritanical nature makes them ultimately predictable.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-30, 03:06 PM
You know...
This whole "cheating" thing is starting to tick me off.

1)I highly doubt that the guy had any intentions of "cheating"

2)Do you guys REALLY think that fake feet makes this guy a better runner than olympians? Apparently every other racer with the same prosthetic is nowhere near as fast. He's just a fast guy. Take his legs away and he's STILL fast.

But enough of the "cheating" nonsense.

While I agree that cheating is the wrong word, do you have any data to assume his artificial legs do not make him faster than the same person with real legs? Or that they do make him faster?

The fact that he's faster than the other paralymians says nothing about that one way or the other. One, I haven't seen other with 2 protheses, and two, being the best paralympian statistically says nothing about how you compare to olympian runners.

Even if he would be the fastest man on earth with real legs but the protheses give him an extra advantage on top of that, it still wouldn't be fair to compare his times with those of people with real legs. If they would give a disadvantage, it also wouldn't be fair competition even if he's faster. It's very unfortunate for him not to have his real legs and hence not being able to compare/compete in the same class, but that's the reality. Unless you can have protheses that are shown to perform as close to real legs as possible, you can't put them together in an olympic event where results are compared. When using protheses of unknown (dis)advantage, the value of records is lost just like it would be when using doping, pretending to be a woman etc.

mike alexander
2007-Aug-30, 04:47 PM
As an aside, I'd like to point out that we're talking about a multi-billion dollar politico/commerical promotion with some athletic events sandwiched in.

Ronald Brak
2007-Aug-31, 01:26 AM
If the IOC is puritanical then does this mean that all that alcohol and affection my government paid for to convince them to give us the olympics in 2000 was a waste of money?

Jens
2007-Aug-31, 03:13 AM
While I agree that cheating is the wrong word, do you have any data to assume his artificial legs do not make him faster than the same person with real legs? Or that they do make him faster?


I guess that creates an opening for a solution. Have him run against others. If he goes faster, don't let him in. If he goes slower, let him in. :shifty:

jkmccrann
2007-Aug-31, 08:31 AM
I forgot to answer the OP.

I don't believe he is trying to cheat at all.
I believe he is trying to compete.

I don't believe that he should be qualified for the olypmics, politics notwithstanding.

I agree, cheat was probably too strong a word to use - afterall, its not his decision on whether he's allowed to compete or not, he's merely petitioning the authorities to allow him.

Notwithstanding that however, I can't take his cause seriously and still respect the integrity of the sport.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-31, 08:31 AM
I guess that creates an opening for a solution. Have him run against others. If he goes faster, don't let him in. If he goes slower, let him in.

That's more an illustration of the problem than a solution :D Artificial legs shouldn't affect his performance in either direction, but how can they show they don't or do affect his performance...

jkmccrann
2007-Aug-31, 08:48 AM
That's more an illustration of the problem than a solution :D Artificial legs shouldn't affect his performance in either direction, but how can they show they don't or do affect his performance...

This is a statement I would also concur with. Given Oscar has not had legs since his infancy, it really is impossible to know exactly how fast he would have been - so it is impossible to provide a definitive statement as to how the artificial legs impact on his performance, whether to increase his speed, or decrease it over the course of a race.

Impossible. Which means, at present, it must be disallowed.

Just thinking about Gattaca, and other advances in medical technology that we're making, it is possible that sometime later this century we'll be able to grow real human legs out of human tissue using some extension of the stem-cell technology we're always hearing about.

My gut would say if we get to the stage in which we can grow replacement limbs out of naturally occuring human tissue - then that would be an allowable means of getting around the fact one may have lost their legs in some unfortunate incident.

But, that brings up many other questions, if we're capable of growing whole new limbs - what else are we capable of growing? Humans with 3 feet, with 4 feet? with multiple eyes? ears? I would suspect that's almost certain, and then we really start getting into interesting areas.

Basically, the world at the end of this century is probably (certainly in my view - barring some sort of apocalyptic scenario), is going to look even less like today than today's world looks like the world of a century ago. I have a feeling that when we get on top of all these challenges, evolution is going to come back in a big way - and end up going in all sorts of directions, sport is going to end up being just one of the impacted areas of society and its going to change out of sight.

Given all that, I'd just say we're in a sort of transitional situation when athletes like Oscar, who by all accounts is a very talented athlete, are beinging issues like this to the table for us all to consider. Currently, I'd say we have to hold the line against the sort of technology he's relying upon, but sooner or later it will come through and that's when things get interesting.

Nicolas
2007-Aug-31, 10:40 AM
But, that brings up many other questions, if we're capable of growing whole new limbs - what else are we capable of growing? Humans with 3 feet, with 4 feet? with multiple eyes? ears? I would suspect that's almost certain, and then we really start getting into interesting areas.

A dirty mind is a joy forever.

Doodler
2007-Aug-31, 12:20 PM
If the IOC is puritanical then does this mean that all that alcohol and affection my government paid for to convince them to give us the olympics in 2000 was a waste of money?

That's not bribery, its part of the bid package. ;)

Besides, there's a small universe of distance between how they tolerate being sucked up to by politicians and how they treat their athletic serfs. They have no mandate to lord over bidding cities, but they can pretty much drive an stake through the heart of an athlete's future, given sufficient evidence and motivation.

Michael Noonan
2007-Aug-31, 04:34 PM
I don't know what the IOC will come up with but I for one would like to see him compete just out of pure interest. I don't aspire to be on that starting line because I wouldn't get to the half way line before the rest of the field crossed the finishing line. But for someone who is potentially faster than the rest of the world's best not to aspire to be on that line would be a tragedy.

Even if they made the race from an even start for the atheletes on the field and added a further 20 metres for him to run on. Then he at least would see if he could beat the world's other best. For the others they get their gold, silver and bronze and he gets his race. It is one thing to be the world's best, it is entirely something more again to aspire to be even better.

The four minute mile was not broken alone there were support runners. Besides if our long jumpers were to compete in the original Olympics they would be immediately disqualified. A long jump was a standing jump with the athlete holding weights to add to his forward momentum.

Chuck
2007-Aug-31, 06:41 PM
Would the other runners be allowed to use whatever mechanical enhancements they please?

The rules committees would have to decide what machines should be permitted an which shouldn't. Then prosthetics designers would design parts that give maximum advantage while staying within the published rules. There would be arguments and more rules changes as technology advances.

Wait, though. This will be more fun to watch than the games themselves. I can hardly wait!

Michael Noonan
2007-Aug-31, 08:59 PM
Would the other runners be allowed to use whatever mechanical enhancements they please?

The rules committees would have to decide what machines should be permitted an which shouldn't. Then prosthetics designers would design parts that give maximum advantage while staying within the published rules. There would be arguments and more rules changes as technology advances.

Wait, though. This will be more fun to watch than the games themselves. I can hardly wait!

Absolutely, any other runner prepared to cut their legs off and run 20 metres past the first finish line for a special finish, oh and also able to set a qualifying time for Olympic selection can use high tech prosthetic legs.

Chuck
2007-Aug-31, 09:15 PM
They wouldn't have to cut off their legs. They could wear leg supports to keep their legs from tiring so quickly and to put more spring into their strides.

John Mendenhall
2007-Aug-31, 09:48 PM
Think of pocket calculators and how far they have come since their introduction in 1972. Next, think where artificial limbs will be by 2047. It's probably best not open the door to artificially amplified (?) humans. You would have to cut off your legs to compete.

There's a relevant old sf book called "Limbo", can't remember the author.

Chuck
2007-Aug-31, 10:07 PM
By 2047 they might be able to remove someone's legs and then reattach them after the race. Or they might be able to grow the enhancements within your existing legs. Victory would go to the runner who could afford the best machinery.

Neverfly
2007-Sep-01, 01:41 AM
By 2047 they might be able to remove someone's legs and then reattach them after the race. Or they might be able to grow the enhancements within your existing legs. Victory would go to the runner who could afford the best machinery.

By 2047? You are optimistic...:think:

Michael Noonan
2007-Sep-01, 11:45 AM
Think of pocket calculators and how far they have come since their introduction in 1972. Next, think where artificial limbs will be by 2047. It's probably best not open the door to artificially amplified (?) humans. You would have to cut off your legs to compete.

There's a relevant old sf book called "Limbo", can't remember the author.

This is an issue that will have to be faced someday and with technology probably much sooner than later. If this is left until it is a problem it will be.

It probably is best not to open the door at times but eventually you will be faced with the prospect of having your door kicked in.