Cyborg Olympics

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Assorted Articles on Cyborg Olympics

Where Are The Cyborg Olympics?

Earlier this week, double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius from South Africa was disqualified from participating in the 2008 Olympics by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Born without normal lower legs, Pistorius uses artificial carbon-fiber feet that are more efficient, and on top of that, his lack of real legs makes him lighter -- as well as possibly reducing his body's production of lactic acid from exercise. So with these advantages, the IAAF judged that his prosthetics were unfair to other competitors.

Amputee Sprinter Denied Olympic Entry By Brandon Keim January 14, 2008 | 6:42 am

The Olympic bid of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been denied.

In November, the International Association of Athletics Federations tested the carbon-fiber feet that carried Pistorius to top of South African sprinting and earned him the nickname "Blade Runner."

Had the IAAF allowed Pistorius to compete, he would have been the first disabled athlete to participate in the Olympics. But the tests, conducted at Germany’s Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics, found that Pistorius’ artificial feet gave him an unfair advantage.

According to the Institute, the prosthetics are three times more efficient at conserving energy than a flesh-and-blood ankle; Pistorius, running at the same speed as an able-bodied athlete, uses 25% less energy. As a result, they violate the IAAF’s prohibition on "any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides the user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device."

Double-Amputee on Cheetah Blades Fails to Qualify For the Olympics

Oscar Pistorius, double-amputee with carbon-fiber "cheetah" blades, failed to qualify for the Olympics. He just missed the needed time in the 400 meter of 45.55 seconds, though it should be noted he posted a new personal best of 46.25.

Cyborg athletes? Bionic Olympics? High-tech prosthetics case raises the prospect of a potential sci-fi sports world By Jay Weiner Monday, Jan. 21, 2008

You've got to see this YouTube clip to understand the Oscar Pistorius phenomenon. When you do, your jaw will drop. You will watch more than another 400-meter race. You will witness a man with no legs falling behind at the start, surging like a race car towards the end, competing with elite athletes with two legs, and finishing second. You will observe the promise that Pistorius, a double amputee from South Africa, holds for the disability rights movement in — and out — of sports. Before your very eyes, sports' newest and most complex Pandora's box will open. What is fairness? Do Pistorius' carbon fiber prosthetics — his augmented legs finished off with j-shaped blades — serve as technoboosters or as legitimate substitutes for human legs? Are they just a very fancy pair of Nikes?

"Techno-Doping" and the New Olympics Posted by Jamais Cascio on January 14, 2008 10:19 AM

Oscar Pistorius, AKA "Blade Runner" -- the South African sprinter who uses carbon fiber prosthetics in place of the lower legs amputated as a child -- has officially lost his bid to run in the 2008 Olympics. He's going to give one last appeal to the International Association of Athletics Federations, but his chances of success are slim. The official reason, according to the BBC:

"...his prosthetic limbs give him an advantage over able-bodied opponents..."

Is the world ready for cyborg athletes?

George Dvorsky, Sentient Developments

Posted by Jamais Cascio on January 14, 2008 10:19 AM

Look out professional athletes, here come the cyborgs—and they’re aiming for the Olympics.

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius, a sprinter who uses a pair of carbon fiber prosthetic limbs, is hoping to run the 400 meter dash at the next Olympics. And he has the numbers to prove that he can compete; Pistorius has run the 400 meter dash in 46.56 seconds and the 100 meters in an impressive 10.91 seconds.

But speed is not his problem. As it turns out, his prosthetic limbs have become a matter of great contention. Consequently, Pistorius, or ‘Blade Runner’ as he’s called, has more to contend with than just his disability.

George Dvorsky serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. George is the Director of Operations for Commune Media, an advertising and marketing firm that specializes in marketing science. George produces Sentient Developments blog and podcast.

STEROIDS Bryan Gomez

The most commonly used steroid in sports is anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetically created to function like male hormones. Athletes use it to increase their strength and performance beyond their natural means. Anabolic steroids increase the amount of testosterone in the body. The increase of testosterone promotes muscle and bone growth in the body.i Anabolic steroids also make it so an athlete can workout for longer periods of time than they naturally can. Anabolic steroids also can have effects that are not advantageous to an athlete. Excessive use of anabolic steroids can result in causing some of the excess testosterone to convert into estrogen, causing a reduction in sexual function, temporary infertility, and the development of breasts in males. Athletes take other drugs to stop the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.ii Anabolic steroids can also cause growth in the left ventricle. An increase of cardiovascular exercise can counteract the growth in the left ventricle. Use of anabolic steroids can also cause an increase in blood pressure in both males and females due to the decrease of HDL and the increase of LDL. The use of anabolic steroids gives an athlete an edge in their competition. The edge the athlete gain does come with some risk. An athlete puts their health at risk to gain this advantage. Incorrectly taking anabolic steroids can take the life of an athlete.