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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
News on SA Olympic dreams and hopes for 2008

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Tears of joy as Oscar gets the nod
Kevin McCallum
May 17 2008 at 11:08AM

Oscar Pistorius, the "fastest man on no legs", cried when he took a significant step for himself yesterday but a giant leap for all of the planet's disabled after winning the right to compete at the Beijing Olympics.

The 21-year double amputee athlete, dubbed the "Bladerunner", won his appeal at the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Lausanne against an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ban that prevented him from competing against able-bodied athletes. The CAF ruled Pistorius gained no advantage from his carbon-fibre prosthetic blades.

"I was just blown away when I found out," said Pistorius. "When they told me I cried. It is a battle that has been going on for far too long. It's a great day for sport. I think this day is going to go down in history for the equality of disabled people."

Andy Scott, who has been the driving force behind the South African Paralympic team for years, said it was the best news all year.

"I think this day is going to go down in history for the equality of disabled people"
"It's unbelievable, simply unbelievable," said Scott. "I can tell you this: if you listen carefully you will hear the sound of prosthetics and crutches being banged on the ground all round the world in celebration.

"Oscar must be commended for his absolute tenacity in pursuing his case. This is a huge step for sport for the disabled not only in South Africa but globally. It takes us that bit closer to the world of able-bodied sport, a world that has been closed off to the disabled for so long.

"What he and Natalie du Toit have achieved is incredible. When Natalie qualified for the Olympics it was a huge moment for South Africa. Now we have the opportunity to have both Natalie and Oscar at the Olympics and the Paralympics. That will be a huge inspiration for all disabled people, whether they take part in sport or not. Once again South Africa is leading the way."

Pistorius's appeal was taken up on a pro bono basis by international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf, who compiled a team of experts led by Professor Hugh Herr of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to refute the IAAF claims.

"I have to thank all the people who have been so supportive of me throughout all of this," said Pistorius. "There have been so many awesome people back home and around the world who have sent me SMSes or e-mails. My lawyers have been great throughout and kept me confident that things would go our way.

"Oscar must be commended for his absolute tenacity in pursuing his case"
"I hope the findings silence many of the crazy theories that have been going around about my having an unfair advantage. All I wanted to do was to get a fair shake for myself and for all disabled athletes to be given the chance to compete fairly with able-bodied athletes. I have the opportunity once again to chase my dream of the Olympics, if not 2008, in 2012."

Now the paper war has been won the hard work starts. Should Pistorius, now perhaps the most recognisable disabled athlete in the world, qualify for the 400m in Beijing in August, he will join fellow amputee Natalie du Toit.

Du Toit became the first amputee ever to qualify and swim at the Olympics; Pistorius could be the second, but needs to run under the Olympic "A" qualifying time of 45.55 seconds. If no other South African runs faster than 45.55 secs he can attempt to qualify for the "B" qualifying time of 45.95 secs. His current personal best is 46.56 secs, a Paralympic record.

"If I still make the qualifying time for those, the door will still be open in the Olympics," said Pistorius, who will compete against able-bodied athetes in Milan, Rome on July 2 and 11.

"A lot of the time this year we've devoted to the court case," Pistorius said. "Now when I get home my time can be dedicated to training. I am going to have to start getting my body in shape in order to run those qualifying times. I am hopeful there will be enough time but it is going to be very difficult."

Moss Mashishi, president of SASCOC, the South African Olympic body, said: "We're overjoyed. It's a great outcome for Oscar."

Pistorius was born without fibula bones and had his legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.

He took up running seriously just a few months before the Athens Paralympics, breaking world records in the 100m and 200m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
An article in the 'Washington Post'

Should Amputee Oscar Pistorius Be Allowed To Sprint In The Olympics?
Can a Disability Give You Too Much Ability?



Oscar Pistorius and his "Cheetah Flex Foot" blades (AP) South African Oscar Pistorius can run faster than just about anyone on earth which is pretty amazing considering that he doesn't have legs. Due to a congenital condition, the 20-year-old from Pretoria was born without any fibulae. Before his first birthday, his parents were faced with two choices: he could either spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair, or have both legs amputated from the knee down. They chose the latter, outfitting their son with prosthetic legs that allowed him to walk like anyone else, and it turns, to run even faster.

Flash-forward to 2007 and Oscar Pistorius is training for the 2008 Olympics. Not the 2008 Special Olympics or a Paralymics, but the able-bodied 2008 Games in Beijing. Having already shattered the 100 and 200 meter world records for disabled athletes, Pistorius is looking to change his nickname from the "fastest thing on no legs" to "fastest man on earth." And with his specially designed "Cheetah Flex Foot" prosthetics, there's a chance he might.

The high tech blades, attached just under his knees, are lighter and longer than average human lower legs and to date have carried him 100 meters in under 11 seconds. But some people argue this gives Pistorius an unfair advantage, including officials at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who have "proposed a new rule that would outlaw them." Pistorius and his coach deny any advantage stating that because of his prosthesis, he needs more energy to start running than others, and is far more susceptible to slipping.

The full IAAF Congress will vote on the proposed rule in late August at a meeting in Osaka, Japan. However, since it's Friday, and I'd rather not wait two months to answer this question, it seems like the sensible thing to do is put the power of that governing body in the hands of OFF/beat readers. So, now's your chance to weigh in: Are Oscar Pistorius's prosthetic legs too much of an advantage or does this amazing athlete deserve a shot at Olympic gold?


Should Amputee Oscar Pistorius Be Allowed To Sprint In The Olympics?
Should Amputee Oscar Pistorius Be Allowed To Sprint In The Olympics?

1666 responses so far:
YES (66.5%), 1108 votes
NO (33.5%), 558 votes
 

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East Coast Massiv
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You know Oscar has had so many battles to fight in his life, firstly loosing his legs, then the battle to get into the sport, now the fight he recently won to let him compete in the Olympics, I hope he gets the qualifying time, would be nice to see him compete.

Although he won his appeal, I do somehow feel that his prostetic glider's do help him abit, dont shoot me or anything, & I aint know physic's grad to calculate all this but surely there is less impact on the gliders than what normal runners suffer from the impact to their knee's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
remember he had to learn to balance on those stuff, let alone running. Feet help with balancing, which he doesnt have. And whats the stress impact on his upper body? What do people think he should do? Tie bricks to his gliders? :)
Anyway, I hope he would kick some ass and win us a medal. Wouldnt that put our 'abled' body athletes to shame?
 

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I dont think he should compete with abled body athletes.

In other news,Natalie Du Toit(we attended the same school haha) is taking part in the open water swimming event at the Olympics.
 

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I don't think it's fair either. I feel sorry for him and all, but he does have an unfair advantage over able-bodied athletes in the way that he uses far less energy to run.
 

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Well it seems he was cleared. Meaning they found he doesn't have an advantage over others, or other olympics committees would make an outcry over it. Go Pretorius!!
 

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I think the issue of balance on those prosthetic gliders levels the playing field so he should be allowed to compete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SA athletes impress overseas
25/05/2008 22:07 - (SA)

Johannesburg - Juan van Deventer, 25-year-old Gauteng 1 500m runner earned his berth in the South African Olympic squad to Beijing with a brilliant performance and a personal best time of 3 min 34.46 sec at the 44th annual International Athletics meeting in Rehlingen, Germany on Saturday.

It was the fastest 1 500m race of the year. Winner Abdelaati Iguider, 21, of Morocco clocked 3 min 32.63 sec for first place on the 2008 world list and also the fastest of his career.

Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, world indoor long jump champion, produced his best performance of 2008 at the Thales Fanny Blankers Koen Grand Prix athletics meeting in Hengelo, Holland, on Saturday with an outstanding wind-assisted jump of 8.35m.

Unfortunately it was not good enough for top honours on the day because the world champion, Irving Saladino of Panama was in class of his own with an exceptional jump measuring 8.73m.

It was a personal best by 16cm, making him the seventh longest long jumper of all time. The frail 25-year-old athlete took only the one jump and then watched how the rest of the competitors tried desperately to catch up with him.

American Miguel Pate finished third, jumping 8.04m.

The 23-year-old Mokoena, SA record holder in the long and triple jump did extremely well with four of his six jumps exceeding 8 metres. He recorded distances of 8.08m, 8.04m, 8.35m (+2.3m) and 8.00m.

The others were no-jumps. His previous best of 2008 was his jump of 8.25m at the SA Senior Championships at Stellenbosch in March.

SA All Time list

A week earlier Mokoena won the world indoor crown with 8.08m

Van Deventer, a University of Johannesburg student, has beaten the IAAF's entry standard of 3 min 36.60 sec by a large margin and also moved into fourth place on the SA All Time list behind stars like Sydney Maree (3:32.30 ), national record holder Johan Landsman (3:33.56) and Johan Fourie (3:34.87). His time also put him in seventh place on the 2008 world best performance list and could have earned him more opportunities to run against the world elite in weeks to come.

The total of SA qualifiers for China has now increased to 15 although one of them, Karin Mey, has informed ASA that she was not available for selection.

Furthermore four hurdlers have bettered the required time - only three will be selected - while it will have to be seen if both women's javelin qualifiers, Justine Robbeson and Sunette Viljoen will be selected.

Estie Wittstock, who had been injured for the greater part of the local track season, also made her first appearance in Rehlingen where she finished second in the 400m behind Anna Jesien (52.16) of Poland. Wittstock's time of 53.11 sec was her third fastest of the year. She is determined to run the IAAF qualifying time of 51.55 sec whilst in Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mokoena wins in Finland
12/06/2008 07:54 - (SA)


Johannesburg - Khotso Mokoena, world indoor champion and an impressive competitor in the first two Golden League Athletics meetings of 2008 in Berlin and Oslo, was the top competitor at an International Athletics Festival in Tampere, Finland on Wednesday evening.

He won the long jump event with another fine performance of 8.20m.

The tall South African continued his consistency after best distances of 8.18m and 8.15m, and placings amongst the top three, in the first two IAAF Golden League events over the last ten days.

His 8.20m was his second best distance of the year and his best in Europe.
 
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