South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius is very close to qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London, narrowly falling short of a sure bid at the South African Championships this weekend. Pistorius completed the 400-meter final in 47.28 seconds, only 2 seconds slower than the time required by the South Africa Track and Field Association to go to the Olympics.
Pistorius had both of his legs amputated at the knee when he was only 11 months old due to a medical condition known as congenital absence of the fibula, which is probably the most obvious medical term I’ve ever heard of. Pistorius, also known as Blade Runner to anyone who has ever seen his prosthetic running blades, also played rugby as a kid until a knee injury ended that career and pushed him into track and field, which is the complete opposite of how anyone else has ever ended a rugby career.
Now, I’m not really calling Oscar a cheater, because it’s not his fault that he’s being allowedto compete against athletes with both of their legs fully intact. But this is clearly an advantage when you’re no longer running on the God given muscles and ligaments that everyone else is using. What if I want to play professional baseball and decide that I’m going to cut my arm off, and attach a Jai alai scoop to the end of it. Could you imagine the speed of a baseball coming out of one of those things?
Point being, without calves that can cramp, ankles that can sprain, heels that can fracture, and toes that can get whatever happens to runners toes, how the hell can this be considered fair? Sure, he’s an inspiration to everyone sitting at home on their couch not using their legs, and the guy is an amazing athlete, but what about the guys he’s racing against who can’t just detach their sore ankles and strap on some fresh ones right before the race?
Us fully able bodied folks can’t get a damn break around here!