Oscar Stirs Up More Controversy in the Paralympic Games

After three days of competition, the Paralympics are well underway. The opening ceremonies were spectacular. The athletes were more than ready. After weeks of controversy about whether amputee runner Oscar Pistorius should be able to run in the regular Olympics, the swirl of speculation was behind us. It was time for the un-controversial Paralympic Games. Or so we thought.

Oscar ran in the 200 meter Paralympic finals on Sunday, a race he’s never lost. Ever. And he came in second. The Brazilian runner Alan Oliveriera came from behind and hit the finish line first, by a fraction of a second. Oscar was stunned. The crowd was stunned. Then came the controversy.

Oscar has been uncomfortable with the rules for how long an amputees running legs can be. He’s been in talks with the IOC about making them more standard. The IOC has been listening and so far has not budged on their current rules.

Oliveriera’s legs are much longer than Oscar’s. It makes for a much longer stride. In Oscar’s eyes this is an unfair advantage. The fact that Oliveriera was so far behind, then caught up, is proof, he says, that the  longer legs were an advantage. So far the IOC is holding their ground that his was a fair race.

So it seems my man Oscar is not done with controversy. He has two more races to go in these Paralympic games and I’ll try to catch both of them on TV if I can. If I lived in England I’d have a good chance of seeing them, as their media coverage is as extensive as it was for the Olympic Games. I’ll muddle through NBC’s limited coverage in the United States, and leave this complaint for another post.

What do you think? Is Oscar right in his uproar about longer legs being an unfair advantage?  Will you watch his next two races to see if he dominates in them, like he was supposed to dominate in the 200 meter? I’d love to know your thoughts.

 

 

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