I read this just now:
London 2012 Olympics: Oscar Pistorius running for South Africa surely epitomises the spirit of the Games.
Now I’m torn between sincere admiration for this man’s indomitable spirit, determination and all-round ‘sod you I’m doing this,’ human resolve and the thought that his blades probably, despite the note in the article about fast-twitch muscle and the disadvantage of lacking an achilles tendon, provide a mechanical advantage over flesh-and-blood lower limbs.
No muscles in the lower legs means that the runner is less susceptible to both cramp and muscular injury – and runners in the sustained sprint of the 400 metres are apparently those most susceptible to injury. I think that I tend more towards the thought that the blades do actually confer an unfair advantage, as compared to other technological advances – better shoes, better materials for sports like the discus, javelin and pole vault that are available to all athletes. I’d be interested in the views of the charioteers on this one.