Double Amputee To Race At Olympics

Oscar Pistorius, or “Blade Runner” as he’s affectionately called, a double-amputee sprinter, will run for South Africa at the London Olympics.

Oscar Pistorius Running

Pistorius was born missing the fibula in both legs. Before his first birthday, his legs were amputated just below the knee. The 25-year-old athlete will run in the 400 and the 4×400 relay, becoming the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics.

Pistorius’ entry into the London Olympics has not been without controversy.  There is a debate on whether the carbon fiber blades on which Pistorius runs give him an unfair advantage. Pistorius will be running on Cheetah Flex-Foot blades.  These J-shaped carbon fiber blades were built specifically for amputee sprinters. Weighing just over a pound, these blades allow Pistorius to relocate his legs quickly but not necessarily faster than other able-bodied athletes. The debate, which will likely continue throughout the Olympics, will also make for great Olympic television this month.

Read a full article on Oscar Pistorius on the Washington Post Website. Article by Sally Jenkins. (Source: Washington Post )
Sources: Ossur; IAAF; Court of Arbitration for Sport; papers by two teams of biomechanists, led by Peter Brüggemann of Cologne, Germany, and Hugh Herr of MIT. By Bonnie Berkowitz and Laura Stanton – The Washington Post. Published on July 6, 2012, 7:50 p.m.

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