Oscar ‘The Blade Runner’ Pistorius has been given a date with CAS – The Court of Arbitration for Sport – to find out finally whether he will be able to compete in the Beijing Olympics, as opposed to the Paralympics. The date, 29th & 30th April.
This January the IAAF ruled that Pistorius could not compete against able-bodied athletes, because his “prosthetic limbs gave Pistorius an unfair advantage because he uses 25% less energy than an able-bodied runner”. But if the CAS overrule this then the Blade Runner will be free to fulfill his dream of competing at the Olympic Games.
Oh…there is one more thing. Pistorius will still have to qualify for the South African team in his chosen event (400m); at present his fastest time is 1 second outside qualification time. Still this will seem like a tiny hurdle after all that Pistorius has been through. Realistically this is about more than his chance of winning an Olympic medal – last summer Oscar raced the best for the first time in Sheffield, and didn’t trouble the leaders (watch the race below) – but there is an important principle/precedent at stake, as he puts it himself:
“This case is important not just to me, but to all disabled persons who just ask for the chance to compete fairly on the sporting field with able-bodied athletes.”
Could this be another legacy of the Beijing Games?