There’s been a lot of heated discussion about a number of elements of the Olympics over the past week, from the coverage by NBC to the goofy questions by Andrea Kremer to how London is doing hosting – with this new age of instant (and often anonymous) blasts, it’s easy to bitch and moan about something with very little to no repurcussions.
One Olympian who has been the subject of such criticism is Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. Due to a disease when he was 11 months old, he had both legs amputated below the knees. He has been competing in running competitions thanks to the use of Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre transtibialartificial limbs by Össur.
He has competed in both Para-Olympics and traditional “able-bodied” Olympic meets since the mid-2000’s.
His participation in an event on Saturday night, however, wasn’t enough to appease Kevin Kietzman, Kansas City Sports Shock Jock who took to his twitter account to protest the acceptance of an athlete with limbs that, to him, resembled his lawn furniture:
Kietzman’s opinion, that the use of springs, like his deck chairs, might provide an unfair advantage, was shared, at first, and ruled ineligible by the governing body IAAF in 2007. Upon appeal however, they allowed the artificial legs in 2008 during an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.
That court ruled that “there was no evidence that Pistorius had any net advantage over able-bodied athletes.”
Unfortunately, Kietzman might not have been made aware of the 2008 ruling because he again took to twitter with a clever suggestion that the Olympic runner try his hand at swimming:
On August 4, 2012 he chose to not grab flippers and swim, but rather became the first double leg amputee ever to participate in an Olympic Games when he entered the men’s 400 m race. He advanced to the Semi-Finals round and finished 8th overall with a time of 46.44 seconds.
So, what do you think? Were these tweets classless? Or do they reflect the popular opinion that this guy is cheating by overcoming a handicap with deck chair legs?