“The purpose of the Olympic games is not to win, but to take part.”

Friday night my husband and I went out to the Cheesecake Factory for a much needed date night (without our kids!).

Photo: Time.com

We were lucky enough to skip the 55 min. estimated wait time for a table (outrageous) and belly-up to the bar after only five. On one of the flat-screened TV’s they were talking about the controversy surrounding Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic runner born with a disability that caused him to have both legs amputated at age 11.

I was totally intrigued with the commentator’s argument. He felt, as many have strongly voiced, that Pistorius has an “unfair advantage” because of the springs in his prothetic legs known as the “silver blades”. I guess they think this will give him an edge of some sort, but in the same sentence, this man said “but I know he won’t win.” So apparently, he just feels it’s unfair that he might actually have a chance.

Are you kidding me?

I think people like this certain sports commentator are having a very hard time seeing the forest through the trees. Fellow blogger Travis Waldron on thinkprogress.org seems to be on the same wavelength as I am:

“The Olympics are as much about the stories of overcoming adversity and challenging global and personal barriers as they are about champions and their medals. Oscar Pistorius won’t ruin that.”

And, just a friendly reminder to us over-zealous competition-driven American peeps, here’s a little summary from olympic.org, posted by Waldron:

“The purpose of the Olympic Movement is to:
– link sport with culture and education;
– promote the practice of sport and the joy found in effort;
– help to build a better world through sport practised in a spirit of peace, excellence, friendship and respect.”

I would say Oscar Pistorius fits all the criteria. In fact, I would say he is a shining example of the resilience and brilliance of the human spirit. If I were competing against a guy with NO LEGS and someone said, “Well, he might have an advantage over you as an able-bodied person by a few seconds,” I’d say, “Then he deserves it. I have the advantage of not having to worry about my bottom half falling off during the race. He doesn’t have legs. And yet he’s learned to run.”

That’s incredible.

2 comments

  1. HEIDI ERNANI DREW

    Beautifully said Carmen.
    Oscar Pistorius s a spirit to be reckoned with. I have known him since his birth and had the privilege of watching him grow into a determined, focussed gracious young man.
    Yes, his challenge was to be the first ‘disabled’ athlete to take part in the Olympic Games. He knows and the world knows that he will only be in the first round. However what a victory Oscar’s achievements are for all of mankind.
    Oscar’s 88 year old grandmother, accompanied by a daughter of her’s is on her way to London to share Oscar’s brief few seconds of personal ‘victory’ in the hope that they will find tickets for his race on the market. (Oscar lost his mom during his teen years)
    Oscar we are oh so proud of you – I carry you in my heart, always!

  2. Kenny Wayne

    I don’t Oscar Pistorius. I only know of him through his Aunt, thousands of miles distant, who introduced his achievements to me some years ago. I have never seen him run. Never followed his career. He has entered into my life as he has entered into the lives of most of us by virtue of his “blades.” A curiosity. We would not know of him otherwise. Win, place or show, he is already a winner. He is a HERO in capital letters. Break a leg,Buddy!

    rakukenny
    http://www.myraku.com

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