Friday, July 6, 2012

Oscar Pistorius - Cheetah Flex-Foot - CNN

The Olympics are just a few weeks away.  And as discussed on CNN today, one athlete sporting some amazing technology, and just to flat out keep your eye on is 25 year old South African Oscar Pistorius, also known as the "Blade Runner”.  He will become the first amputee to compete in track at the Olympics in the 400 and 4x400 relay.

Oscar was born without a fibula in both legs, which eventually lead to double amputation.

He runs with a device called a Flex-Foot Cheetah made of carbon fiber.  The J shaped device is named after and takes cues from the fastest cat in the world and is the leading device for recreational and elite amputee athletes.  The device was created in 1997 and there have not been many changes to it since then.  But, it has come with controversy.  In 2007, it was banned by the overseeing track and field body (International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAFF) –as having a technological unfair advantage. That decision however, was overruled in 2008 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Oscar previously won 4 gold medals and a bronze in the Paralympics.  He had his sights set on the 2008 Olympics, but failed to qualify.  This year he was .1 seconds short of qualifying by South African standards.  But, on Wednesday, the national exception was made as Oscar was named to the 4x400 relay team and the 400. 

Oscar is certainly breaking ground.  Notably, he is also sponsored by Nike and Oakley amongst others. 

Image courtesy of Oakley

Courtesy of Oakley

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