Monday, September 3, 2012

Who's got the competitive advantage now?

Oliveira (left) does look suspiciously tall...
A month ago I wrote a post about Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic sprinter with no feet.  I made the argument that the odds were very likely that his prosthetic limbs gave him a competitive advantage over the other runners.  So when I read this story on last night, I was very amused by the irony of it.

Pistorius lost the 200 meter final at the London Paralympics yesterday to a man named Alan Oliveira, and after the race Pistorius claimed that Oliveira had an unfair advantage.  According to Pistorius, Oliveira uses prosthetics that make him taller than he should be.  Oliveira won the Gold with a time of 21.45 seconds, and here are some of the things Pistorius had to say about it afterwards (quoted from the espn article):

"He's never run a 21-second race and I don't think he's a 21-second athlete."

"I've never lost a 200-meter race in my career."

"We aren't racing a fair race. I gave it my best. The IPC (International Paralympic Committee) have their regulations. The regulations (allow) that athletes can make themselves unbelievably high."

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