Just heard the great news that Oscar Pistorius – the fastest man on no legs – will be able to run at the Olympics! The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that he is eligible to race against able-bodied athletes, overturning a ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Here is the story I wrote about him a few months ago. He is one amazing guy. An inspiration to us all. And a proud South African. Run Oscar! Run!
Get ready for the big race. This is the finals baby. An Olympic medal awaits. This is his chance. This is the Olympics. This is his Olympics. He is a racing machine. He is ready. This is what he has been working for. This is what he has been training for day in and day out. Come sun or rain, he was there. Training and training and training. Eating his pasta when he wanted a burger. Nibbling a salad when his body wanted sweets. And then some more training. Training and running until his lungs burnt and his legs hurt.
No wait. At least the part of the legs that he does have will hurt. You see, he doesn’t have legs that goes all the way down. He was born with a few key bones missing. And they had to chop off his legs just below his knees. But just a few years ago he decided he wanted to run. And boy could he run. Run like the wind. He broke every record for those without legs. He became the man amongst big men. He was the superstar amongst heroes.
He ran on blades made just for him – the Blade Runner. And he ran so fast they called these blades “cheetah” blades. He was as fast as a cheetah on the hunt. And, well, the blades looked a bit like cheetah back legs. But now they are saying that his “cheetah” blades make him run like a cheater.
Let’s stop there for a minute. He is too fast running on his sticks? Are they are worried that he might be too fast for those with only two working legs? Are you serious? Have you actually seen this guy running? Here, have a look. Notice how he is about 10 meters behind the other guys when they start off? His “legs” hold him back because there is no thrust to push back. No calf mussles to help him jump at the start. Did you also notice that he has to swing his legs out a bit because he does not have the natural swing of the other guys with their luxury knees and legs? Doesn’t look that comfortable does it? Doesn’t look like he has the smooth running style of the “leggies”, does it?
But who are you going to believe? Your own eyes or science? Some mad German scientist (weird hair an all I assume) decided that our man Oscar Pistorius runs better than the “leggies”. That he has an advantage over them. The swing is the problem you see. According to the German punk professor our man has an advantage over “leggies” when he makes this swing as it gives him a bigger stride. And the problem is? The other athletes can swing their legs as well, can’t they? They know that it might save energy and give them a bigger stride. But they also know that it is as uncomfortable and unnatural as hell. And not the best way to achieve speed and rhythm. You can’t run like that if you want to be a world class athlete. (No, I wasn’t an athlete, but I have a friend who ran the Olympics and won a silver. That’s bragging if you didn’t catch it).
Or can you be a world class athlete without legs? Maybe, maybe not. We might never know. The Olympics held up their much loved values (like with China) and decided that this is not in line with the spirit of the Olympics. (But China is). Scared an umlungu from Africa might beat your steroid enhanced, human growth hormone injected druggies that call themselves athletes? Scared we might beat their sorry arses? Scared the “leggies” might be leggless by the time we are done with them? Yes, I am calling you chicken.
You will let guys who were caught cheating with drugs run, but you won’t let our boy run. Shame on you. You and your rules will let Dwain Chambers run, but the Brits had to bring in their own rules to stop him from running at the Olympics. Your history is littered with cheats who won in a blaze of glory only to go down in the fire years later because of drugs. Johnson and Gatlin and Jones – when do you want me to stop? You held them up as champs and the epitome of the “Olympic Dream”. A nightmare now, hey?
Let our boy run. He is the real deal. He is the Olympic Dream. He is the fastest man on no legs.
Oscar – run, baby, run.