Day By Day

Friday, July 27, 2007

Enhancing Sports Performance

Der Spiegel reports on a South African double amputee athlete who is demanding to be allowed to compete in the 2008 Olympic games.

The young runner is an exceptional athlete. He has already broken more than 20 world records in disabled sports. He runs the 200-meter race in 21.58 seconds, which is less than two seconds slower than Shawn Crawford, the men's Olympic gold medalist in Athens (19.79 seconds) and faster than Veronica Campbell (22.05 seconds), who captured the women's gold in Athens.
But a double amputee in the Olympics? The sporting world has been divided by a bitter dispute for months. Critics say Pistorius's prostheses give him an unfair advantage because, so they claim, they are longer than his natural legs would be.
He dislikes the distinction between disabled and non-disabled, a distinction he sees as his real adversary in every race he runs. By bridging the divide, Pistorius has already added a page to sports history. "I'm not disabled, I just don't have any legs," he says. "There is nothing I can't do."

Read the whole thing here.

And you thought steroids were a problem. Hoo boy! What a can of worms this opens! I can envision a time when top athletes will seek surgical enhancements or perhaps seek amputations so that they can replace their flesh with bionic prosthetic limbs.

"Not likely," you say? But look what pro athletes are already doing to their bodies. Barry Bonds is just the beginning.