Athletes with Disabilities & the Struggle to be Fair to All

Hi everyone!  I am a transfer student from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, but grew up and went to school in Orange County, Mission Viejo my whole life.  I am a communications major, still very unsure about my field of study within Communications but hopefully these classes will make that decision a little clearer.

My history with sports sadly ended only this year with my decision to take a break from running for the year.  I grew up playing soccer my whole life, throughout high school and than quitting to focus on track and field.  I successfully ran throughout high school and onto community college and ended up making it and placing in the state, 7th fastest in CA for the 800m.. so that was a thrill!! Unfortunately long story short, I decided to take time to focus on my hectic first year at a UC and put the track spikes to rest.

That intro brings me to my decision to write about specifically running, but in a general view I would like to focus on athletes with disabilities and how far they can make it in the professional world of sports.  Including, fairness for not only the disabled, but for the surrounding athletes that compete against them as well.  To clarify with an example, there were huge controversies with Oscar Pistorius who was the first person to compete in the Olympics (Summer 2012) as a double-amputee. People were against it because many felt that it was unfair advantage for others because of his mechanical abilities to not feel anything below the knee; no worries about having a calf or foot cramp, etc. and the amount of energy he exerted.  But if you look at the defense for Oscar and his fellow athletes that deal with similar obstacles, he is missing half of his legs which comes with more pain (physically, mentally, and emotionally) than injuries your “typical” olympian or athlete could endure within a competition.  For every counterattack that Oscar and his team could stand by, the logistics are that the energy it takes for his legs in a race is 25% less than others which is blatantly an advantage.

My struggle to agree with one side or the other is always due to my morals that everyone deserves an equal chance, which can seem contradicting with his advantage but in my eyes it’s no advantage he would probably take over his fellow teammates and competitors without his disability.   So if my post wasn’t scrambled enough for you to understand my confusion, interest, and passion to dig further into the extent of fairness for all athletes, than I hope you all look forward to finding out what I can learn about disabilities and professional sports and an emphasis on running.

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One Response to Athletes with Disabilities & the Struggle to be Fair to All

  1. Sarah McCullough says:

    Great topic! We’ll be talking some about this in the latter portion of the class, but remind me to share some articles and resources with you now about the debate around Pistorius’s potential inclusion in the Olympics.

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