Advantage: Blade Runner?

Photo: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

The Olympics start next month, and I have to admit,love them. There’s just something about the event that’s pure. Something that’s genuine. It seems as though every Olympics there is someone who rises from anonymity to become the next household name. Whether it’s Apolo Ohno, Michael Phelps, or any of the gymnasts who seem so small that you might accidentally step on one of them if you aren’t watching where you’re walking, there’s always someone who rises to the occasion and charms us all.

This year, that athlete might not even be allowed to compete. Sadly, South African runner  Oscar Pistorius might not make it to the Games in London, and it’s not because Pistorius is too slow. He’s actually one of the fastest guys in the world when it comes to running the 400 meters. The debate is in how and why he’s so fast.

The controversy lies in the fact that Pistorius is a paraplegic. Instead of lower legs (he was born without fibulas and had his lower legs), he uses blade-shaped prosthetics. While you might be wondering how not having legs would give someone an advantage, there are some who swear that he is better off without them. Honestly, I’m torn on the issue. While I think there are obvious, glaring disadvantages to not having actual legs, depending on how good the technology is, I guess he could technically gain an advantage. For all we know, he could have had springs installed in his prosthetics. Personally, I tend to lean more to the “disadvantage” side and say that he should be allowed to run. If those of you competing with two legs have a problem competing against him, I have an easy solution for you: Beat him.

QUESTION: Do you think Pistorius has an advantage, or disadvantage?