IEET Readers Divided on Right to Compete for Cyborg Athletes
August 08, 2012
We asked our readers “Should Oscar Pistorius, or other cyborg-enhanced amputees, be allowed to compete against athletes with meat legs?” Now that Pistorius has competed at the Olympics with his carbon spring legs, losing but movingly celebrated by the crowds and the gold-medal winner, what did you all think?
The percentage of oxygenated blood, buildup of lactic acid, etc. in the body of this runner should be compared to full-bodied runners, after running a standardized distance; it’s my supposition that with fewer muscles to move the same size body, Blade Runner is at a disadvantage because not only does he have less actual volume of blood, even with an adjustment for weight loss, for what is replaced by his ‘blades,’ but that the knee joints accumulate additional strain, while the blades themselves must be lifted higher when in the behind position, while running, in order to clear the surface. The springiness of the blades gives some advantage that should be tested versus normal ‘bounce’ created by arches in the feet. Then, this prosthesis design/schema should become standardized for the track, and other appropriate kinds of competitions, with a prohibition of more advances in technology in the future—no “advanced baseball bats and golf clubs” changes made. If handicapped athletes with amputations must use the same kind of equipment henceforth, with small changes suitable to turf conditions, etc. and concurrent with what advances in footwear, etc. that ordinary athletes are allowed, Blade Runners in the future should be allowed to compete on the same terms that were allowed here, IMHO.