I am NOT making this up.
Photo from CBCSports
Since he was 11 months old, Oscar's been a double-amputee... right below the knee.
But he's one of us, a runner, thanks to some technology (Flex-Foot Cheetahs by Ossur), and a hell of a lot of courage, hard work, and more courage. He used to prefer rugby to running, only trying track and field to rehab from an injury, but we won't hold that against him.
And now, just last week, he was named to the South African Olympic team. I'm talking about the REAL Olympics, not the Paralympics for people with no legs or nor arms or whatever, though he'll run those too, and I'm guessing collect some nice hardware.
As Oscar's times have fallen, the controversy over his carbon-fiber feet has risen. The IAAF (the grand-poobah of track and field) even ruled him ineligible at first, saying the technology gave him an advantage over flesh and blood and bone.
That is ridiculously retarded.
I'd like to see any member of the IAAF spend 15 minutes enduring the pain and discomfort that amputees face every day with prosthetics. Advantage? Don't be stupid. Oscar doesn't just live with that, but he runs and trains and races like a, well like an Olympian!
You wanna know how to tell if that technology makes people faster? It'll be when able bodied runners lop off their human legs for some carbon-fiber.
I am not kidding.
Athletes at all levels, but especially at the top of their sport, have proven time and again that they will sacrifice their bodies, their future, for a few tenths of a second. They've blood-doped, juiced up on hormones and steroids, even endured sex changes, just to be closer to the top of their sport. If there's evidence that carbon-fiber ankles and feet will get them an Olympic Medal, one of these fools will trade-up and spend their winter rehabbing, relearning to walk, and run, and inventing a story about getting both legs caught in a bear trap.
Photo from BBC
Until that happens, we will cheer, and admire, and marvel at Oscar, the Blade Runner, because... well look at him, he's running the 400m, IN THE OLYMPICS, with artificial legs! Those legs are no advantage. They're just a tool that let him demonstrate his strength, speed, determination, and courage, Amazing!
Oh, and next time you think you can't suffer through a run, think about Oscar Pistorius. That oughta shame you into lacing up.