All this week in Newsroom, we've been obsessed with the Davids of the world sticking their fingers in the eyes of the many Goliaths standing in the way. We've had the 19-year-old mayor, the diminutive hook-handed progressive, the plus-size model, and that girl who won a team track meet all by herself.
Today's matchup: Oscar vs. the Olympics.
It used to be that so-called "disabled" athletes were kept out of the Olympic Games because, well, they had a pretty huge disadvantage due to their "handicap." Since most would not have been able to qualify, this never became much of an issue.
Enter Oscar Pistorius! A double-amputee sprinter from South Africa who had his legs amputated below the knees when he was just 11 months old. Oscar uses specially designed carbon fiber prosthetic blades for running. This past January, the International Association of Athletics Federation banned him from so-called "able-bodied" competition because, it was argued, his prosthetics gave him an unfair advantage over other (able-bodied) athletes. Oh, how the tables have turned...
But earlier today, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (who knew there were so many legal institutions devoted to sports?) ruled that Oscar may indeed resume his Olympic dream. Score for the little guy!
Oscar could still be a long way from his Olympic goal of competing in individual competition, though. While he holds the 400-meter Paralympic world record at 46.56 seconds, that's still short of the 45.55 second Olympic qualifying standard -- not to mention the fact that all of this legal wrangling has disrupted his training regimen. But even if he doesn't qualify, all hope is not lost. Oscar can still make it to Beijing if the South African 4x400-meter relay team qualifies and he is selected to run with the six-person team.
What do you think? Should Oscar be allowed to run in the Olympics if he qualifies? Or do his prosthetics give him an unfair advantage?
Check out the clip of Oscar running (above), with a killer "Chariots of Fire"-type soundtrack. Seriously, we think Oscar's the track equivalent of Kanye West.