Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee, received finite approval on Friday, May 16, to attempt to make his country’s Olympic team. Previously barred from competition by Track and Field’s ruling body, Pistorius appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and won the right to compete in all IAAF events and qualify for the Beijing Games later this year.
The court’s decision may seem somewhat insignificant now; narrowed to allowing one exceptional man to qualify, if he can, for the Olympics. But their ruling is likely to change the future for every physically-limited athlete in the world.
So starting at the very top, here’s my Top 5 list of potential side-effects from the Pistorius ruling.
1. Paralympic Games are more popular than the Olympic Games. Why watch ordinary athletes when you can see someone with no arms and one leg win the 50 Freestyle?
2. Wheelchair rugby, popularized by the film Murderball, is sanctioned on all MMA undercards.
3. Rowing isn’t for Oxford-ites anymore. Not when you have oars for arms.
4. Skiers with skis for legs. Moguls, schmoguls.
5. Skeleton, without a complete skeleton, becomes the new niche sport.