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Oscar Pistorius into semis of 400m (Humanity is at the forefront of a new path of evolution)

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posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 08:47 AM

LONDON -- It began with a smile at the starting line. Moments later, Oscar Pistorius took off and the click-click-clicking of carbon on the track was all but drowned out by the 80,000 fans on hand to watch him make history Saturday. The first amputee to compete in track at the Olympics, Pistorius cruised past an opponent or two in his 400-meter heat, and by the end, the "Blade Runner" was coasting in for a stress-free success. More from Caple How can anyone not root for South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who, in competing with carbon-fiber prosthetics, is proving to the world that anything is possible, even running in the Olympics without legs, writes Jim Caple. Story Typical. Except this time, it was anything but that. "I've worked for six years ... to get my chance," said the South African, who finished second and advanced to Sunday night's semifinals. "I found myself smiling in the starting block. Which is very rare in the 400 meters." Yes, this sun-splashed day at Olympic Stadium was a good one for Pistorius, a double-amputee who runs on carbon-fiber blades and whose fight to get to this point has often felt more like a marathon than a sprint. He walked out of the tunnel, looked into the stands, saw his friends and family there -- including his 89-year-old grandmother, who was carrying the South African flag. "It's very difficult to separate the occasion from the race," Pistorius conceded. But he figured it out. He finished in a season-best time of 45.44 seconds, crossing the line and looking up at the scoreboard, then covering his face with his hands when he saw the capital "Q" -- for qualifier -- go up by his name. "Couldn't have hoped for anything better," he said. [+] EnlargeOscar Pistorius Michael Steele/Getty ImagesOscar Pistorius made history Saturday as the first amputee to compete in track at the Olympics. The 25-year-old runner was born without fibulas and his legs were amputated below the knee before he was a year old. His is one of those stories that is every bit as much about the journey -- dramatic, inspiring and controversial -- as the final result.

Link to Story

The controversy:

1. Pistorius used significantly less oxygen than able-bodied sprinters. 25% less during sprinting (the IAAF Study) and 17% less during jogging (the Herr study), to be specific. Therefore, his metabolic cost of running was lower. This was true at all speeds, from jogging to sprinting, and of course the carbon-fiber limbs are not designed for jogging in the first place, so one can question how valid a measurement would be during jogging. It was still found that he used 17%, or three Standard Deviations, less energy when jogging than able-bodied sprinters.

2. When you add in elite distance runners, then Pistorius becomes "similar" to other runners. Herr et al conveniently did this when they found that Pistorius uses 17% (or 3 SD) less oxygen than able-bodied sprinters. Rather than actually testing runners themselves, they turned to the literature and found fifteen-year old research studies on elite distance runners, and sure enough, when they added other people's data to their sample, it helped bring the average down and he became statistically similar to distance runners. Even then, he used 4% less oxygen than the elite distance runners, which is quite remarkable.

3. Pistorius had significantly lower vertical ground reaction forces and horizontal braking forces than able-bodied runners. That means less braking force, but interestingly, the same propulsive forces. This in turn means less work at the same speed than able-bodied runners. There is however a disadvantage of lower peak vertical forces, compromising the acceleration from the start.

4. The energy return from the carbon fiber limbs was 92% compared to 59% for the able-bodied runners. This, in part, explains the reduced physiological cost compared to sprinters.

5. Pistorius' rate of fatigue was similar to the able-bodied sprinters, using running trials to fatigue. This is interesting, and I have my doubts about whether testing an untrained athlete who knows the hypothesis reveals anything of value. It is also questionable as to how relevant it is to a self-paced 400m race, but this is the only one of five findings that doesn't suggest advantage.


Oscar Pistorius may indeed represent the first step in a new breed of human assisted by integrated (partially) technology designed to drastically improve performance. Some may look at him and see a disabled man, competing to preserve his dream. Some will look gaze upon him and see a man utilizing an unfair advantage over the normal, able bodied runners. Yet, others still will see him for what he of the early adopters of the future. It sounds morbidly inappropriate, as it was not his choice. He..."didn't ask for this."
Though, it was not his choice to become an amputee, he still remains as one of the faces of the coming Neo- Renaissance: The Blooming of Mankind

There are other threads that display a glimpse of the future:

3-D Printed Exoskeleton Gives 2 yr old Ability to Move Her Arms

The future of "augmented reality" technology?

Nano God Technology - This is the future!

Will you fear it, lash out against it's novelty, or tuck yourself away in the hopes that it is a passing fad?


Will you embrace it, and seek to aid humanity transition from it's caterpillar phase to its cocoon phase; one more step towards true freedom and expression of the soul?

The coming. Join, and help in assisting the whole of humanity gain access to these technologies...or shrivel in fear, boycott these innovations and keep them in the hands of the's your choice. It always has been.

Congratulations to Mr. Oscar Pistorius. I now know who I am cheering for in the next 400m rounds.
edit on 4-8-2012 by TheOneElectric because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:03 AM
Now that the bionic man is real why should he be allowed to compete with low tech runners?

Clearly from what you have shown that his prosthetics give him a great advantage over other athletes..

this is a problem if your supposed to be competing on equal footing!

The energy return from the carbon fiber limbs was 92% compared to 59% for the able-bodied runners

so, the energy efficient prosthetics give him a great advantage ... how is that fair competition?
edit on 4-8-2012 by fnpmitchreturns because: add content

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:10 AM
reply to post by fnpmitchreturns

I absolutely agree that he does maintain some advantage. The extent of his advantage, when coupled with his limitations, are relatively difficult to determine outside of mere numbers. He is not consistently outpacing everyone in the 400m, so it is logical to assume that he still maintains distinct challenges within his condition. I do agree, it is problematic to fully support his participation in the games with an absolutely clear conscious. The best we can do for now is wait and see how this all turns out. Regardless of result, we are watching the future unfold before our eyes.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:15 AM
This thread has failed to convince me to cut off my legs for a self-serving place in oLIMPics. :p he can sort of shuffle run to an extent not having knees and all,maybe even bounce or dig in with a wide motion to gain more traction...

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:49 PM
I think that anyone who complains about it and whines that he has an "advantage" should be given the option of having their own legs amputated and fitted with the same blades he has if they choose to do so. That should handle any of the whiney complainers.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:01 PM
lamarkian evolution ?

he was born with a defect, not an advantage

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