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  • Re: Oscar Pistorius allowed to compete in regular Olympic Gamesafter all

    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 *
    * Fellow, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers *
    * US National Delegate to the International Congress on *
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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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