Thursday, May 17, 2007

Colbert Nation tackles prosthetics

If you caught The Colbert Report for today (technically yesterday), you noticed that the opening blurb mentioned the issues of Oscar Pistorius. Oscar's legs were amputated when he was a one year old. Now he has, what Colbert refers to as, 'rocket shins'. Sure he turned it into a political thing, but the issue is real. The Olympic track committee is trying to block Pistorius from running, claiming that his 'legs' are performance enhancing.

So, where do we draw the line? As of right now, in order to compete, competing athletes require all the best science to train - every muscle twitch is recorded, every movement analyzed by a team of biophysicists. Meals are planned years in advance, measurements are taken daily, supplements are mixed to the border of doping. Is this even a test of physical human limits anymore? Does anyone outside the respective committees even care? Do we need an Enhanced Olympics? There was a similar uproar in baseball when Charles Waitt wore a sissy device called 'a glove' to help prevent bruising and breaking his hand. And that wasn't even out of necessity.
(If I can find a YouTube of "The Word" segment (the word was "Level Playing Field"), I will post it.)

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