“#Do Amputations Ever Give An Athletic Advantage Or Performance Edge?”
There is at least one instance where a prosthetic limb ends up giving the amputee an edge. This is Oscar Pistorius, also known as the “Blade Runner.”
He lost his legs at 10 months old, but still ran under 11 seconds in the 100m, under 22 seconds in the 200m and 46 seconds in the 400m.
You might be wondering how this is even possible. How can he be faster than someone with legs.
His replacement legs were actually an advantage!
“Any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.”
IAAF Amendment, March 26, 2007
This decision was clearly specifically aimed at a rising Pistorius, and thus the IAAF responded that the amendment was not directed at him.
Human legs effectively work like springs, the Achilles tendons — among others — storing and releasing energy, stride by stride, maximizing energy return from the ground.
Blades simply do this far more effectively than a real human leg.
“Pistorius’s limbs used 25% less energy than runners with complete natural legs running at the same speed, and that they led to less vertical motion combined with 30% less mechanical work for lifting the body.”
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