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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Olympic hopeful not allowed to compete due to prosthetic legs (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Olympic hopeful not allowed to compete due to prosthetic legs
The Rabbit
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quote:
In a telephone interview last week, however, Brueggemann noted that this did not necessarily translate to a general advantage. . . .

“Everyone that came back to us said that there were too many variables that weren’t considered and that more testing should be done,” he said. “They said a verdict can’t be reached only on the information that was collected.”

So it doesn't look like the case is as clear cut as suggest, Eisenoxyde.

I suspect that this is a case that may never be fully solvable since it is impossible to know many of the variables involved such as how much strength he might have had in his calf muscles, how large his feet might have been, how balance with the prosthetic limbs compares to balance with natural limbs.

And if someone using these prosthetics can truly run with 25% less energy expenditure than an able bodied runner, why isn't there a paralympian out there who is able to run significantly faster than the best able bodied athletes.

I'm not convinced.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Olympics shouldn't be about who can create the greatest mechanical advantage over their competitors.
What should they be about?
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kmbboots
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Honoring the gods? Celebrating funerals?
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Xavier
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quote:
And if someone using these prosthetics can truly run with 25% less energy expenditure than an able bodied runner, why isn't there a paralympian out there who is able to run significantly faster than the best able bodied athletes.
The obvious answer is in sample size. There are MILLIONS of able bodied sprinters competing from around the world, and these are the cream of the cream of the cream of the crop.

I'd imagine there are only a few hundred sprinters in the world with these prosthetics. Perhaps as many as a few thousand. I'd love to see some numbers on that.

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kmbboots
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Is the prothetic specially designed for running? Is it his "everday" prosthetic?
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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
And if someone using these prosthetics can truly run with 25% less energy expenditure than an able bodied runner, why isn't there a paralympian out there who is able to run significantly faster than the best able bodied athletes.

I'm not convinced.

Prosthetics will obviously improve as time goes on. In fact, its probably inevitable that prosthetics will eventually surpass normal human limbs.
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mr_porteiro_head
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It is specifically designed for running, and it is not his everyday prosthetic.

--

I remember seeing on TV a long time ago a double amputee like this guy who was a rock climber. He would make his own prosthetic feet designed for different types of rock, which allowed him to get purchases in the rock that normal climbers were unable to.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
It is specifically designed for running, and it is not his everyday prosthetic.


In this complicated issue, I think that is a factor.
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mr_porteiro_head
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This link has a pic of both his normal and his running legs.
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BlackBlade
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This opens up far too great a can of worms for me to be comfortable allowing.

As much as I like to cheer for guys/gals who overcome terrific obstacles, it fundamentally alters the competition to the point that we are not testing the limits of the human body in competition anymore but rather who can create the fastest running configuration.

We don't allow disabled people to compete in the olympics as they are unfairly disadvantaged, so in same token we do not allow enabled people to compete in the olympics as they are unfairly advantaged.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
We don't allow disabled people to compete in the olympics as they are unfairly disadvantaged
Huh? I don't see why we wouldn't allow it, as long as they were able to compete. Which they generally can't.

quote:
so in same token we do not allow enabled people to compete in the olympics as they are unfairly advantaged.
Huh?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Huh? I don't see why we wouldn't allow it, as long as they were able to compete. Which they generally can't.
If a man was blind but could sprint just as fast as an olympic sprinter, and simply required the use of a grey hound to keep him going in the right direction do you think they would allow him to compete? I guess I see what you are saying, but I am not convinced that they would let a man on prosthetic legs compete in the pole vault no matter how well he did.

quote:
quote:
so in same token we do not allow enabled people to compete in the olympics as they are unfairly advantaged.
Huh?
If an Olympic swimmer had genetic webbed hands and feet do you think they'd let him/her compete? I don't think so, at the very least there would be an uproar.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
If a man was blind but could sprint just as fast as an olympic sprinter, and simply required the use of a grey hound to keep him going in the right direction do you think they would allow him to compete?
If he didn't need the dog, they'd let him compete, just like they'd let anybody else compete without a dog.

If he needed a dog, he wouldn't be allowed, because dogs aren't allowed.

quote:
If an Olympic swimmer had genetic webbed hands and feet do you think they'd let him/her compete? I don't think so, at the very least there would be an uproar.
Yes, I do think they'd let them compete.
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BlackBlade
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Porter: I don't think they would. Likewise I should think the prosthetic using pole-vaulter would also not be allowed. I'm going to look up the rules.
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Jon Boy
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There's an important distinction between natural and unnatural enhancements.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
f a man was blind but could sprint just as fast as an olympic sprinter, and simply required the use of a grey hound to keep him going in the right direction do you think they would allow him to compete? I guess I see what you are saying, but I am not convinced that they would let a man on prosthetic legs compete in the pole vault no matter how well he did.
What if someone wanted to compete in archery or marksmanship but needed to wear corrective lenses? Should they be allowed to compete in the olympics? What if it was found that their corrective lenses gave them better than 20/20 vision, would that be acceptable?

quote:
If an Olympic swimmer had genetic webbed hands and feet do you think they'd let him/her compete? I don't think so, at the very least there would be an uproar.
Many, perhaps even most, top swimmers have unusually large hands and feet. I'd be surprised if there weren't at least a few out there who didn't have webbed hands or feet.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Is it an enhancement for a basketball player to be 7'6"?
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mr_porteiro_head
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What was the classic science fiction short story where everybody was brought down to the lowest common denominator so that everybody would be equal? For example, if you were strong, they'd weigh you down with weights so that you wouldn't have any advantage over others.

----

quote:
What if someone wanted to compete in archery or marksmanship but needed to wear corrective lenses?
I'll bet that there are many people who compete in the Olympics with corrective lenses.
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Javert Hugo
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That was Kurt Vonnegut, but I don't remember the name of the story.
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MattP
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quote:
What if someone wanted to compete in archery or marksmanship but needed to wear corrective lenses? Should they be allowed to compete in the olympics? What if it was found that their corrective lenses gave them better than 20/20 vision, would that be acceptable?
I don't think that would be a major problem. The benefit conferred by better vision would be negligible. The constraints on marksmen/archers are primarily on their skill/technique. Obviously being blind would be a handicap, but having superior (> 20/20) vision would not likely offer much advantage.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Is it an enhancement for a basketball player to be 7'6"?

I am of the opinion that you have to judge on a case by case basis both by sport and individual but no, being 7'6" IMO is not a great enough advantage in a team sport to be completely unfair, and varying heights is something completely normal.

There is not a large spectrum of various levels of webbing.

I am unsure if marksmen are allowed to compete with corrective lenses.

I am trying to read through the rules and its a laborious task. [Frown]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
There is not a large spectrum of various levels of webbing.
Actually, there is. I've known several people with more webbing between their toes or fingers than is normal, but I wouldn't call their hands or feet "webbed".
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BlackBlade
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Hey did you know that Olympic athletes are permitted to compete barefoot in track events if they so elect? Pretty cool.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
What was the classic science fiction short story where everybody was brought down to the lowest common denominator so that everybody would be equal?
Harrison Bergeron.
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Javert Hugo
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That was his name, but that wasn't the name of the story.
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BlackBlade
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From IAAF rules, Rule 144:2 Section E

"For the purpose of this Rule the following shall be considered assistance, and are therefore not allowed...use of any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides the user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device."

USA shooting rules allow for corrective lenses but not on the scopes of rifles, and of course pistols cannot have corrective lenses attached to them. In both cases they can be worn by the shooter. I do not know if the Olympics have the same rules.

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The Rabbit
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Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut

[ January 15, 2008, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Javert Hugo
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Wasn't there another name originally? Something obscure and slightly poetic/pretentious.
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The Rabbit
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If so, I can't find any reference to it. Wikipedia does say that the idea orginally appeared in a less developed form in Vonnegut novel "The Sirens of Titan" and that there was a television version of the story called "Between time and timbuktu". Could you be thinking of either of those?
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Javert Hugo
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Maybe. *pokes brain* It isn't responding. Maybe it'll come to be me later.
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Glenn Arnold
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Marksmen are allowed to use corrective glasses. Actually, they use glasses which are corrective, and also have a peephole sight in one eye, with an eye cover over the non-aiming eye so that it can remain open while shooting.

Should sprinters not be allowed to wear the most high-tech running shoes? Should speed skaters not be allowed to use clap skates?

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Elmer's Glue
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We have the special Olympics for a reason.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't count prosthetics in the same category that I count other sporting equipment. What about a skier who had prosthetic legs attached to skis? Everyone has to have skis, and generally the teams that participate have the money to pick from any of the skis available, it's a matter of personal preference. But fake legs I would imagine reduce wind resistance and drag, and would also pose an unfair advantage, in the same way that I think attaching springs to your thighs is different than what type of she you are wearing.
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