A Runner for Runner’s Sake…the Paralympics vs. the Olympic Games

So, unless you’ve been living in a hovel, you’ve heard of Oscar Pistorius. He’s the runner from South Africa that doesn’t have any legs. Well, he does…but not like you and I do. He was born without fibulas, thereby he has no legs from the knee down. He took his first steps on pegs, and has been on them ever since.

Let’s put it this way…he’s at pace to blow past South American runners in the 200 m as well as the 400 m. Oh yea, he’s disabled.

It leaves those of us that are disabled in a bit of a fix. As a lover of all things sport, I can understand the question. Let me explain.

As far as prosthetic legs are concerned, Pistorius owns like the BMW of prosthetics. He has had them designed specifically for him. He has them wired as a beautiful arc. I would show pictures, but it just isn’t the same. They are a specific feat of engineering to make the quickest, more spring in the step, allowing the runner to be faster, slicker, leaner, and especially…quicker. It’s amazing to see what they do. I saw that guy on the American Gladiators, it wasn’t the same. It’s a joint project between Ossur the company that is owned by BMW, and the MIT media laboratory. If I had the money…you start to wonder what they could do with me!

But as someone that’s disabled, they are just pegs. They are rare, designed specifically for him, but in the end they are still just elastic pegs. I cheer for him, because I want to be him. To be a world class athlete and leave my crutches behind me forever. I cheer for him for every kid that has ever sat in a wheelchair, for a day, a week, a lifetime. I cheer for him because it made my heart sing that the disabled were treated as the ABLED.

He has now come out and said that he will likely run try and qualify for the 2012 Olympics. That things have been so tiring these last 5 months when he has to prove that the pegs called Cheetahs, don’t give him an unfair advantage.

I started listening to Eliot in the Morning here in DC for a long time. He started talking about it, and although I have never had a problem with the lack of political correctness, but I have got to say, I was a bit disturbed by this. It was frustrating to me that he didn’t quite have all the facts. Not that I do either. I will say though, it’s interesting, everyone’s worried because Pistorius has “his own olympics”.

You know what? How many are actually out there saying stuff like that because they are scared they’re going to get beat by the disabled guy? I mean cmon. These are athletes that have worked their entire lives to get to an amateur competition with the hope that they would move to an endorsement deal in their home town. Only for the hope that they would become celebrity. For me??

For me, it was a victory that he got past the International Athletic Federation that said, go for it, qualify. If you can qualify…awesome. If you can’t make it to Bejing, fine. Make it to London though. Make it to London and I’ll leave my allegiance for the United States in the dust…..just to watch it.

Just to watch a guy that no one ever thought would be a certifiable celebrity. An athlete that is up to the caliber of David Beckham in his own country, beat everyone. Beat the Kenyans, and take it all.

Yup, I’d root for South Africa….just once.

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3 Responses to “A Runner for Runner’s Sake…the Paralympics vs. the Olympic Games”

  1. charlotte harris Says:

    Even without knowing the whole story, I can bet you’re on the mark – it’s probably because Eliot knows that the guy with the prosthetcic leg would still completely smoke him!

  2. tigereye Says:

    I’m all for this guy, and anyone who says “he’s got ‘his own’ Olympics” can bite my ass. Segregated anything is still segregated.

  3. pandemonic Says:

    Amen.

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