"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

His legs may run in the Olympics

[Note: Puppy update and photos from our first couple days are forthcoming.]

Just found this story in the NY Times about Van Phillips, who lives in Mendocino, and who invented a prosthetic leg for elite runners and athletes while he was working at the Center for Biomedical Design at the U. of Utah. South African double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will attempt to qualify for the 400m sprint wearing two of Phillips' "Cheetah Foot" prosthetics after some controversy about whether the carbon graphite legs / feet would give Pistorius an unfair advantage over sprinters who are stuck with regular feet and legs. Huh.

Perhaps the I.A.A.F. was afraid that allowing Pistorius to participate would release a flood of double-amputee super athletes who would dominate the track with their springy, energy-efficient appendages. This man was born missing bones in his lower legs, so the fact that at some point, probably quite early in life, he decided he wanted to be a great runner kinda makes you rethink your sense of your own limitations, doesn't it? And Phillips' invention makes it possible. Sometimes it's a pretty neat thing to be human.

1 comment:

Allie said...

I heard about that while listening to ESPN radio with my Mister.

It's pretty amazing!