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Blade runner (Oscar Pistorius)

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Simon Spooner, Jan 15, 2008.

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  1. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Re: Blade runner

    Its a difficult one. A double amputee wants to run in the 'main' olympics. On the surface that sounds like a noble request that should be granted. On the other hand, his spring loaded artificial limbs means (if I recall coreectly) that he only as to expend 30% of the energy of an able bodied running to achieve the same. Unfortunatly, I agree he should be banned.

    The next challenge with the development of this technology, what will become of the para-olympics? Will they become tests of ability or tests of the size of the bank balance to develop these 'blades'?
     
  2. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Re: Blade runner

    Thought I would include the following. Out of interest I Googled him for more information.

    Born without the fibula in both legs and missing a number of other bones besides, Pistorius was 11 months old when his parents, Hende and Sheila, having consulted medical experts the world over, reluctantly signed the papers agreeing to have their young son's limbs amputated beneath the knee. "When people ask me what it's like having artificial legs I reply, 'I don't know. What's it like having real legs?' To all intents and purposes, I was born like this and it's all I know.

    Fascinating stuff.
     
  3. Elizabeth Walsh

    Elizabeth Walsh Active Member

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  4. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
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    Re: Blade runner

    The IAAF released this info:
    Full story
     
  5. zaffie

    zaffie Active Member

    Re: Blade runner

    If having blades gives this young man such an advantage where are all his record breaking times?:confused:
     
  6. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Re: Blade runner

    He is an amazing athlete given his situation, but what the studies (and IAAF) are saying is that physiologically he is a good athlete, with an advantage- this brings him close to the level of an olympic qualifier. If someone who was at an olympic level with natural legs had these blades instead, then the records would come (or so they say).
    This would be more likely over the 400m where maintaining maximum velocity for a long period of time is the key. He is not very fast off the mark (relatively), but maintains a high velocity and is relatively faster over the second 200m. Supposedly this is due to the fact that he has to do 'less work' and does not fatigue like full limbed athletes.
    Pretty amazing guy however way you look at it though!
     
  7. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
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    Re: Blade runner

    This weeks Time Magazine has a story on this:
    Link to story
     
  8. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

  9. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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  10. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    He has one the appeal

    Sports Illustrated are reporting:
    Amputee runner wins right to try for Olympic spot
    Full story
     
  11. Elizabeth Walsh

    Elizabeth Walsh Active Member

    Re: Blade runner

    The video for this is now on page 76 of 98

    The page number keeps changing.

    The title of the video is

    "Double amputee won't run at Beijing"
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  12. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

    Re: Blade runner

    There are lots of video clips at YouTube on this.

    Here is one of them:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  13. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    It is interesting that as everyone starts fading at the last straight he is still powering on.
    The line must be drawn some where, if he was allowed to run in the Olympics this year it would only mean the Olympics would be won by the "6 million dollar man" in 2012, Go Steve Austin !:D
     
  14. Re: He has one the appeal

    Lets see what funky designs of "shoes" the able bodied start wearing now...

    I just thought, with a pair of blades attached to my legs I'd stand at about 8 feet tall- My teenage dream of breaking the high jump world record may come true after all.
     
  15. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

    Here is a very good summary of the situation from ScienceDaily:
    Study Revives Olympic Prospects For Amputee Sprinter
    Full story
     
  16. I've had several debates with guys at my track club recently regarding pistorius. With most of us predominantly running from 200 --> 800m, we figured the main limiting factor at our level in 400m running was the lactic in the last 80 --> 120m, this man's limiting factor is not that part of the race! It seems he clearly runs -ve splits every time he runs, perhaps 24/22.5? Also, I don't know too many runners who have been in the sport for less than 4 years who can suddenly run 46's?
     
  17. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

    Without arguing the case of Pistorius and whether he should/should not be in the Olympics with able bodied runners, his advantage over able bodied runners is that he doesn't have to worry about stress #s, tenosynovitis, compartment syndromes etc. that elite runners worry about.

    Just a point!
     
  18. Chrysochloridae

    Chrysochloridae Welcome New Poster

    But think disadvantages of it..... For a start, no proprioreception from the feet. The extra stress that the rest of his body is put under in order to run on the prosthetic feet..... All the force is point loaded through the Patella Tendons and the residual muscles are having to work much harder to enable the prosthetic limbs to function. And ALL amputees will get skin breakdown on the stump sooner or later... especially if they are as active as he is!

    I believe that anyone who wants to run in the Olympics is definitely at a disadvantage if they have bilateral transtibial amputations!!!:drinks
     
  19. Chrysochloridae

    Chrysochloridae Welcome New Poster

    Re: Blade runner

    hmmm... you are correct with your last statement. There are loads of Prosthetic feet out there made by many different companies. Prosthetic feet are like trainers in many ways, every athlete is sponsored by different companies (in Pistorius' case Ossur) and each company's foot will do the same basic job in a slightly different way (like Nike or Reebok running spikes do); to make everyone use the same foot would make it fairer, but would also Monopolize the paralympics!
     
  20. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
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  21. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    The fastest runner on artificial legs: different limbs, similar function?
    Weyand PG, Bundle MW, McGowan CP, Grabowski AM, Brown MB, Kram R, Herr HM.
    J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]
     
  22. Hylton Menz

    Hylton Menz Guest

    Dear colleagues,

    MRC researcher A/Prof Tim Bach was featured on the ABC's science program Catalyst for the olympics special edition in July 2008. The program featured a story on the use of "blades" prostheses, which can be viewed for free here:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2320343%20.htm
     
  23. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
    1
    Running-specific prostheses limit ground-force during sprinting.
    Craig P. McGowan, William J. McDermott, Matthew T. Beale, Rodger Kram, and Hugh M. Herr.
    Biol. Lett., Published online before print November 4, 2009
    Science Daily have this story on the above research:
    Notion That Amputee Runners Gain Advantage From Protheses Further Disputed

    Full story
     
  24. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
    1
    Science Daily are reporting:
    Oscar Pistorius' Artificial Limbs Give Him Clear, Major Advantage for Sprint Running, New Study Suggests
    Full story
     
  25. Thank you!! Finally, after reading the rest of the biomechanical analyses earlier in this thread which did not consider the forward recovery phase energetics of running with reduced mass artificial limbs.......now comes some common sense biomechanics/physiology that takes into account the dramatic effects that reduced limb weight has on the work and energy involved during the forward recovery (i.e. swing) phase of running for someone running without the normal distribution of mass at the end of their running limb. No foot......reduced mass at end of limb....reduced moment of inertia of limb....increased angular acceleration of limb during forward recovery.....faster "recovery" time of limb. Case closed.

    Lesson learned.....just because people are called "experts" by others.....doesn't mean they are right.
     
  26. lusnanlaogh

    lusnanlaogh Active Member

    Sorry to open up an old thread, but I thought the discussion lacked a certain something. :rolleyes:

    No mention has been made about amputees competing in other sports, such as Natalie Du Toit who swims at paralympic and olympic levels (sans prosthetic) - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/article3872750.ece.

    Seeing as other I'd like to suggest that perhaps it's not the hardware after all, but their determination? :cool: And, that Oscars' real advantage is this - ;)
    (watch that bilateral whip btwn 0.25 ~ 0.26 btw!).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  27. Most competitive athletes have great determination. However, even the best, most-determined runners don't have the short duration of forward recovery phase that Oscar uniquely has in his running gait cycle. This short forward recovery phase occurs due to his low mass "legs", not his "determination".

    Sure, I give Oscar lots of credit....but his success is partially due to his light weight prosthesis.....and not only due to his determination.....and his product endorsements.
     
  28. lusnanlaogh

    lusnanlaogh Active Member

    Kevin

    This paper suggests otherwise:

    Also, if the RSP's were such an advantage then one would ask: why aren't there a significant number of amputee runners achieving as well as Pistorius?

    I would suggest that it's a combination of -

    * determination - they need to out perform non-amputee athletes for obvious reasons

    and

    * technique - as the paper above suggests, but also because they have to cope with a higher centre of gravity, socket/skin interface issues, lack of proprioception, potentially abnormal alignment (see the bilateral whip above) and, in some cases, abnormal joints.

    Sue
     
  29. Pistorius off the world companionships ?

     
  30. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Good read on the subject here
     
  31. This is simple physics....the decreased moment of inertia of lighter artificial "legs" will require less rotational force (i.e. moment) proximally to accelerate the "legs" anteriorly during forward recovery phase. Said another way, for a given proximal rotational force there will be increased angular acceleration of the lighter "legs" due to their decreased moment of inertia.

    No doubt....this double amputee has an unfair advantage when compared to runners with legs of normal mass and should not be allowed to compete with them. If he were, however, to add extra mass to his prostheses so that the moment of inertia of the limbs were equal to that of other similarly sized runners, then I would have no problems with him competing with other runners with no prostheses.
     
  32. Bobba Booey

    Bobba Booey Active Member

    But if he did that then he wouldn't be able to compete at that level and that would mean the CAS ruling was wrong.
     
  33. The CAS ruling was wrong. If Pistorius didn't have legs that were half the mass of other top sprinters, he would never have made it so far.

    For anyone who still thinks that the mass of the leg isn't important to 400 m race times, I invite them to try adding a five pound weight to each leg and then run a 400 m race to see how it compares in time to their 400 m race time without leg masses added.

    Pistorius doesn't belong competing with athletes with "normal legs" with his techologically advanced prostheses.
     
  34. Even so he will lucky to get out of his heat with his PB. But I agree the line has been blurred for future rulings
     
  35. Bobba Booey

    Bobba Booey Active Member

    I don't disagree, I was just being silly. :D I think those cheetahs give him a huge advantage.
     
  36. Perthpod

    Perthpod Active Member

    I'd rather have my legs and run slowly...
     
  37. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I don't disagree with the Physics here - but its a moot point given that Pistorius' PB for 400m is 45.07. Advantage or no advantage that just isn't good enough to 'compete' at Olympic level. For that time to be competitive he'd have to be running in the 1950's.

    If his prosthesis do indeed give him an advantage (and it were accurately quantifiable) then I'd love to know what his times would be if he had 'normal legs'. My guess is he'd be amongst the thousands of other athletes whose names we don't know because they just aren't quick enough to run at elite level.
     
  38. You have to admire his desire and work-ethic to get where he did get to considering his disadvantages. However, we can't allow technology to give one athlete an unfair advantage over another, no matter how much we are impressed with their natural disadvantages and thier courage.
     
  39. fishpod

    fishpod Well-Known Member

    totally agree its not comparing like with like should stick to special olmypics . but i have to admire the guy.
     
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