Friday, August 15, 2008

Cyborgs Taking Over - Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit

The debate over Oscar Pistorius has not subsided just because he didn't qualify for Beijing.  Natalie du Toit attending the Olympics hasn't ended the bru-ha-ha...  finally, and most significantly, my opinion piece in May didn't settle it either.

The normally placid waters of sport continue to churn with the thought that a man could compete at the Olympics with two fake legs.  It just doesn't sit well with folks...

Conversely, the idea of a woman competing without a leg seems to be met with adulation.  Natalie du Toit (Open Water Swimmer, also of South Africa) is one of the darlings of the Olympics and there is no controversy around her whatsoever.  She better keep it quiet that legs drag the body down in the water...  soon people will be saying she has an "unfair advantage".

So, like a moth to a flame, I recently got sucked into a bit of a "debate" regarding old Oscar and his blades.  Have a read here if you like.  Much to the chagrin of some readers the author refers to Oscar as a cyborg.  (Note: I only have one fake leg but I want to be referred to as a Cyborg as well.)  My comments appear at the end, after the article.  Throw down your opinion...  here or there.  I'd love to hear a logical viewpoint, especially if it is contrary to my own.  

I'd love to debate this topic... in fact, debating in general doesn't seem nearly as nerdy as I once thought...  I just wish I had both of my legs because I don't want to be accused of having an "unfair advantage" in debating the intricacies of amputee sports.  

Olympics or not...  Oscar and Natalie are out there kicking ass.  "Bravo" I say.  There are arguments on both sides of the issue but there can be no debate about the inspirational nature of their accomplishments.  

And to those critics and naysayers that display inherently illogical, and at times discriminatory points of view:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions... knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Anyway, down off my soapbox....  Nike clearly digs Oscar... Check out ANOTHER new ad all about him.  Chalk another one up for the swoosh... damn fine ad.


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