MSNBC, the New York Times, AP and other press outlets are reporting that Oscar Pistorius will be able to compete in the Olympics. Pistorius, an elite South African runner that uses two prostheses had previously been banned from competing in the Oympics earlier this year. The ban was imposed by the IAAF and based on the mistaken belief that Pistorius' prostheses gave him an unfair advantage against athletes who do not use protheses. Overturning the ban is a watershed event for elite disabled athletes world wide.
The decision that permit permits Pistorius to compete is limited but opens the door for other athletes with a disability. Future challenges are sure to come and the ruling sends an important message to elite disabled athletes: You can compete! You are equal! This is what I am choosing to focus on this morning and I have a broad grin spread across my face. If Pistorius can overcome all the time he lost fighting his ban, perhaps he can earn a sport on the South African Olympic team. This would not only be a victory for Pistorius but a symbolic moment for disabled people: equality at the highest level of competition exists. If Pistorius can do what no other amputee has done before in court and on the track than imagine what others can do with the same dedication. Oppression can indeed be surmounted and Pistorius is truly a trailblazer to be emulated.
For more on Pistorius please read a great new blog: An Impossibility in an Impossible Universe. Here is a link: http://impossibleuniverse.blogspot.com/ This blog by Sarah Heacox delves into adaptive sports and should readers have an interest it is a great site where one can access helpful information about sports such as skiing. I for one look forward to more posts on this blog.
Paralyzed since I was 18 years old, I have spent much of the last 30 years thinking about the reasons why the social life of crippled people is so different from those who ambulate on two feet. After reading about the so called Ashley Treatment I decided it was time to write a book about my life as a crippled man. My book, Bad Cripple: A Protest from an Invisible Man, will be published by Counter Punch. I hope my book will completed soon.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008
Posted by william Peace at 4:48 AM
PhD 1992 in anthropology Columbia University, I am interested in disability rights and bioethics.
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