View Full Version : Oscar Pistorius?

05-17-2008, 03:17 AM
Here are some of the previous statements regarding this topic:


""The prosthetic legs that double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius
races with provide less air resistance than normal legs, the IAAF has

Davies said the initial research also showed that the way Pistorius
distributed energy was virtually the opposite to able-bodied runners.
And unlike able-bodied runners, Pistorius was faster at the end of
the race instead of the beginning.

Pistorius was able to run with his prosthetic blades at the same
speed as the able-bodied sprinters with about 25 percent less energy
expenditure," the report concluded.

The report said the returned energy from the prosthetic blades, known
as "cheetahs", was close to three times higher than the ankle joint.
"The mechanical advantage of the blade in relation to the healthy
ankle joint of an able-bodied athlete is higher than 30 percent," it

"It is evident that an athlete using the Cheetah prosthetic is able
to run at the same speed as able bodied athletes with lower energy

Yet in the recent media article from Rice University it states:

""Pistorius’ rates of metabolic energy expenditure do not differ from elite
non-amputee runners. In particular, he has **nearly the same** running
economy, or rate of oxygen consumption at submaximal speeds, and a similar maximal
rate of oxygen consumption as elite non-amputee runners.

Pistorius’ ability to maintain speed over the course of longer sprints--his
speed-duration relationship--is essentially identical to that of able-bodied
runners, indicating that he fatigues in the same manner as able-bodied

***Having seen Oscar compete it is obvious that during the second half of
the race that he his faster than any other athlete.


Professor Hugh Herr stated:


A bilateral amputee professor named Hugh Herr works here (at MIT). If anyone
can predict what sports will look like in 2050, it's Herr, who lost his legs
26 years ago in a climbing accident. Herr wears robotic limbs with motorized
ankles and insists he doesn't want his human legs back because soon they'll
be archaic. "People have always thought the human body is the ideal," he
says. "It's not."


John Casler also noted:

While I am not informed enough to have an opinion on the "equality" over all
competitors, I might wonder or question the assertion of "metabolic"

I, for over 20 years have used "stair climbing" as a great Cardio
Stimulating activity, and regularly do so.

During this period I have explored many climbing and descending experiments
to compete with myself and become faster.

It didn't take too long for me to find that climbing on my "toes" caused a
greater blood flow to my calves. This then when viewed logically suggested
several things:

1) The blood flow to the calves was significant.
2) The distance the blood was pumped was far greater from the heart, and
surely offered greater stress
3) The circulatory efficiency of supplying blood both TO and FROM the calves
was a greater stress due to the "Cul de Sac" system.

In light of this, I adjusted my form to step deep into the step itself and
land on the heel, reducing calf involvement. This then reduced blood
requirement for the area. Additionally I pushed off with the heel, causing
even greater hip and ham involvement.

The proximity of the glutes and hams to the heart to both supply and return
blood was far less stressful and my times steadily improved.

Now while this certainly doesn't suggest that metabolic requirements are
small, it does offer an interesting question as to if the shorter and more
direct blood flow can offer metabolic advantage.

While I might suggest it "does", I might also say that I can see no viable
method of establishing the scope of the advantage, considering the
disadvantages contained in the disability itself.

Jamie Carruthers
Wakefield, UK