Friday, May 16, 2008

Could Olympics Double Amputee Decision Impact Swimming One Day?

In my mind, the Olympics has done a grave injustice to itself this week by granting, upon appeal, the right for a double amputee to compete. Am I being heartless? If this were just a few years back, I might agree that I was. But I don't feel that way today. With the rapid advance in technology, we really will have accident victims performing like Steve Austin - The Six Million Dollar Man. This runner will have spring in his step that is technically superior to the life-long developed tendons in an able-bodied person. What's next? Would a sickly person be able to take steroids to "fix" their condition and thus compete? I exaggerate, but seriously, look at swimmers. In a recent post I asked the question about whether a new dolphin prosthetic could be used by a double amputee. I really think that's doable. Now take that a step further. Why couldn't that prosthetic make one swim fast - think butterfly. It certainly could. Just look at all the world records that have fallen with the new swim suits developed this year. If you don't think a trained athlete could make webbed prosthetic work in their favor, think again. I think this was the wrong decision. Feel free to agree, or disagree, but this decision is huge.

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