Does An Olympian On Carbon-Fiber Legs Have An Unfair Advantage?

Jul 16, 2012

When Oscar Pistorius runs, it seems like a miracle that he can run at all on those j-shaped carbon blades.

The notion that they give him an unfair advantage in the 2012 Olympics is hard to swallow. On the other hand, those aren't the prosthetic legs Pistorius walks on in his daily life. Those legs are for competition only. That's certainly something an able-bodied athlete couldn't do, but that's also not the relevant consideration. What seems to matter most is whether the blades create an advantage for Pistorius that he wouldn't otherwise have. And where do you draw the line about stuff like that? Floyd Landis competed in the Tour de France with an artificial hip. Hundreds of athletes in myriad sports have sharpened their vision to 20-15 using Lasik surgery and expensive custom designed contact lenses.  And the day is not far off when the advantages can be added before the athlete is born.  Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or tweet us @wnprcolin.