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bwschulz
05-22-2008, 02:16 AM
While the lawyers and media will definitely benefit from this, I think
that prosthetic users will also benefit from increased awareness and Mr.
Pistorius will definitely benefit from having real competition. He is at
a level beyond that of other transtibial amputees and wants to compete
against the best in the world- as long as his legs do not provide him
with a NET advantage (thanks for the link to the PDF of the full
decision, Ton), there doesn't seem to be a problem with this. As this
PDF specifies, this decision only applies to Mr. Pistorius wearing the
specific prosthetics he was tested in, and different athletes, or even
Mr. Pistorius if he were to change his prosthetics, would need to be
re-evaluated.
This can of worms is already open. What we can do is make sure that any
men or women competing in these events are not modified to an extent as
to provide them with an overall advantage. We may get annotated records
at some time in the future (Pistorius will be lucky to qualify for the
Olympics and has almost no chance at breaking any records), but for now
the choice was between letting an exceptional athlete compete against
others that are not identical to him over whom he has no verifiable
overall advantage, or to deny him this level of competition based on no
scientific evidence of a net advantage. To me, it appears that the
process worked this time, but we must strive to improve our methods of
evaluating running biomechanics and energetics to ensure that it
continues working in the future.
The slippery slope leading to healthy athletes cutting off their feet to
run faster will only happen if we don't do our jobs and the rule
creation and enforcement organizations don't theirs.

Brian Schulz, Ph.D.
Biomechanics Researcher
VISN 8 Patient Safety Research Center (118M)
James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital
11605 North Nebraska Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612-5738
Phone: (813) 558-3944
Fax: (813) 558-3990
www.patientsafetycenter.com

-----Original Message-----
From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
[mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Jim WALTON
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 1:39 AM
To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Oscar Pistorius allowed to compete in regular
Olympic Games after all



In response to Benno's challenge ... why limit it to track
and field:

How about swimming events with flippers ... prosthetic feet?
That would be sure to break a few records!

While I admire Pistorius for his courage and the skills he
has developed with his new "legs", the fact remains that his
prostheses modify the very nature of the event. If this
decision is allowed to go forward, it's going to open up a
whole can of worms that will be very hard to put back in the
box. The only folks that will benefit from this will be the
lawyers and "talking heads", it certainly won't be the athletes,
Pistorius included. Any records he creates are sure to be
annotated--"**but he used special legs", and the athlete that
takes second place will always feel that he won the event.

Why do we have separate events for men and women? Because
there are physical differences in the sexes. If the only
criterion is covering a specified distance in a minimum
amount of time, then why not combine the men's and women's
events and ignore these physical differences? (I'm not
advocating this, just trying to address the absurdity of
allowing a "modified" man to compete in a "men's" event.)

By the way, this is a great use of this listserver. I've
really enjoyed watching the topic develop.

Jim

************************************************** ************
* JAMES (Jim) S. WALTON, Ph.D., President, 4DVIDEO *
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-----Original Message-----
From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
[mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Benno Nigg
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 8:37 AM
To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Oscar Pistorius allowed to compete in regular
Olympic Games
after all

I would like to challenge the biomechanics community to develop
prostheses
that will produce world records in many track and field disciplines. It
should not be too difficult,

Benno M. Nigg
University of Calgary
Faculty of Kinesiology
Human Performance Laboratory
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
Direct: 403-220-3436
Fax: 403-284-3553
Email: nigg @ucalgary.ca



-----Original Message-----

From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver [
mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On
Behalf
Of Richard Hinrichs

Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 10:24 AM

To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL

Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Oscar Pistorius allowed to compete in regular
Olympic
Games after all

On this forum we have discussed the pros and cons of double amputee
Oscar
Pistorius and whether he would have an advantage in the Olympics.

Well he has won his appeal and will now be allowed to compete in 2008
Olympics after all. Here is the link:


http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/trackandfield/news/story?id=3398915

Regards,

--Rick

Richard N. Hinrichs, Ph.D.

Dept. of Kinesiology

Arizona State University

P.O. Box 870404

Tempe, AZ 85287-0404

(1) 480-965-1624 (office)

(1) 480-965-8108 (fax)

hinrichs@asu.edu (email)


www.public.asu.edu/~hinrichs
(web)

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