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Amputee Wins Olympic Right, Amputee Swimmer Qualifies

South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius won a landmark appeal from the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowing the runner to compete for a slot in the Beijing Olympics despite a previous ban on his artificial legs.

Nicknamed "Bladerunner," Pistorius runs on specially-adapted carbon fiber blades and said of the ruling,

I am going to try and make it to Beijing. I have a few chances ahead of me and I will try to make the most of them. . . Sport brings people together and it doesn't divide or judge. This decision will open new doors for disabled athletes. Happily, the CAS considered the question a scientific matter and only looked to determine if my blades gave me an advantage or not. Handicapped or able-bodied, for me there is no difference. I'm just a sprinter and it is this that people see me as.

It was a big day all around for differently-bodied South African athletes. South African swimmer and amputee Natalie Du Toit qualified for the Beijing Olympics after finishing fourth in the 10K race in the Open Water World Championships.

Is the decision to let Pistorius compete fair? The swimmer doesn't use a prosthesis, while the runner does — should there be a difference? Is it a great victory for sports?


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