Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oscar Pistorius!

Without question Oscar Pistorius is an athlete and human being to admire. His accomplishments as a double amputee (he had both feet amputated below the knee as a child) running on carbon-fiber blades are cause for celebration.

But Oscar Pistorius should not be competing against runners who have no need for prosthetic devices!

I know that my position is politically incorrect. I know that he has shown great courage in his bid to break the boundary between the Paralympics and the traditional Olympic Games. And I know that while he has improved his times he cannot yet compete successfully with world-class runners. So, it can be argued, what’s the problem? He isn’t a threat to anyone.

The problem is that bionic men and non-bionic men are not the same. Yes, they are human beings. But apples and oranges, while both fruit, are not the same. Like it or not, distinctions must be made. It does not denigrate people with special needs to recognize the differences.

There will be a time – sooner than many think – when the advantage will be with the bionic men. There is no way that an unaltered human being will be able to compete with the devices that will be engineered in the future. Then (if I may be allowed) the shoe will be on the other foot.

Disability advocates say that everyone should have the opportunity to live, work or compete on equal grounds, runners included. I agree!


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