August 19, 2007

Six Million Dollar Man

With the Bionic Woman returning to the Fall lineup on TV this year, it's interesting that technology has nearly caught up with science fiction. Oscar Pistorius is a South African man (thank goodness, he never would have made through grade school in America with a name like "Pistorius") who was born without fibulas. As you can see in the picture, he uses amazing prosthetic legs in his races and is nearing South African record times. Depending on coming rulings, he may even be in the Beijing Oylmpics.

Pistorius, of course, has no choice in this matter. If he wants to run, he has to use prosthetics -- a tip of the hat to his courage and ability -- but really, how is he any different from those who use drugs to enhance their speeds (or home run hitting training regime). I don't suspect anyone would ever cut off their own legs to get faster, but if Pistorius was a swimmer instead of a runner and had prosthetic swim fins made, would we be discussing whether that was fair or not? I think his advantage would be obvious in the water, but exists no less on land.

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