Today we had the biggest sensation in Athletics. The 200 m run for T43&T44 (one leg-amputee and two leg amputee) was not won by Oscar Pistorius. The 20 year old Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso OLIVEIRA made the sensation with incredible run in the last 50-60 m. You can see the uploaded by me video at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Wlp1sTnoY. As you can see & hear …this was not expected by anybody here. Some kind of scandal followed the event – Oscar Pistorius claimed that the blades of the Brazilian athlete are longer than normal and gave him an advantage. The brazilian guy answered that he did not expected such a reaction from his idol.
Oscar Pistorios is really an idol in the Paralympics. He is something as an “ambassador” of the Games, the link between the Olympics and Paralympics, a motivator and role model of thousands of disabled athletes, the best advertisement of the Paralympics. Oscar was the one who made it possible disabled athletes to compete with the non-disabled ones, he sued the Olympic committee to cancel the decision that the blades gaveve him an advantage in the run (you can see details about his mission in the wiwkipedia).
This story has several view points. One is about the ability of the live icons to accept the defeat. There are rules set by the International Paralympic Committee and these rules were followed by all athletes. So, it’s a question of honor & dignity to accept that a follower will beat the leaderr.
There is also another point of view – for the responsibility of IPC to set the right rules. The Paralympic games are much more complex than the standard sports. There is such a huge variety of disabilities, so it is extremely difficult to put them in classification in order to make fair competition and to compare the results. If there is a big number of classes, then the number of competitions increases proportionally and it is difficult for organization. So, IPC created re-factoring of the results in some disciplines (e.g. cycling). This approach has other disadvantages – you can not understand the winner just watching the race, there is no direct competition, you feel that the winner is decided behind the scene. So, it is really complicated. Another aspect is about the technical devices used in the races – wheelchairs, blades, carts. The technologies are also competing, so the rich countries always have access to the best devices for training and competition (especially the one with strong government support of the sports for disabled). Is this fair competition then? A lot of questions….
My proud for the day – I managed to cut the 200 m race and upload it in youtube (we are usually recoding and uploading the Athletics sessions as one file). The video was watched 8 000 times in 10 hours.