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A new study published today in The Journal of Applied Physiology concludes that prosthetic legs worn by double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius give him an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners. In the study, “The fastest runner on artificial legs: different limbs, similar function?,” researchers said Pistorius’s blades allow him to turn over his strides more quickly and with more power than a runner with biological legs. “We conclude that running on modern, lower-limb sprinting prostheses appears to be physiologically similar but mechanically different from running with intact limbs,” the report says. Researchers conducted three tests that compared his prosthetic limbs and those of competitive male runners with intact limbs. They determined that Pistorius expended less energy when he ran, particularly when comparing him against runners in the 400-meter speciality. Also, the study says Pistorius benefits from enhanced running mechanics on his blades, including longer foot-ground contact time and less time in the ... keep reading »
The U.S. Paralympics will be hosting 12 student-athletes (ages 14-19) with physical disabilities and six adults, made up of coaches, teachers and program leaders at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, March 12-21. In the Paralympic Experience program, participants will have the opportunity to meet U.S. Paralympic Team members, attend Opening Ceremonies and athletic competitions and build camaraderie with other potential Paralympians. The Paralympic Experience program introduces individuals with physical disabilities to Paralympic sport on the local and international levels. Paralympic Sport Clubs, located in more than 100 communities across the U.S., annually host a one-day Paralympic Experience event that exposes local participants to a variety of Paralympic sport opportunities available in the community. To find a Paralympic Experience in your community, visit the Paralympic Activity Network. Every two years, one Paralympic Experience is held internationally in conjunction with the Paralympic Games. Student-athletes and coaches are selected based on leadership, community ... keep reading »
The Sunday Times of South Africa reviewed Oscar Pistorius’ new autobiography, “Blade Runner”, due to be released this week. The Paralympic sprint champion was fitted with prosthetic legs when he was just shy of two years old, but was able to participate in contact sports like cricket and rugby. When he was 16, however, a bad rugby tackle — known as a “hospital pass” — left him with a severe injury, compelling him to spend time away from contact sports. So he took up running. “When I started [running] for my rugby rehabilitation, I thought, Geez, this is terrible,” Pistorius told the Sunday Times. “Lo and behold, months later I was running at the South African Championships for disabled athletes, and eight months later [in 2004] I was in Athens.” He took gold in the 200-meter race in Athens, ahead of Marlon Shirley and then world champion Brian Frasure. According to ... keep reading »