Oscar Pistorius does not have an unfair advantage.

The fact is that amputee athletes have been using carbon fiber Cheetah feet for the last ten years. They are not new technology.

If they conferred a stable advantage over two-legged runners, Paralympians would have been beating Olympic times by now.

And they’re not.

After a decade, they are still running behind Olympic times.

I actually got curious about this a while back and ran some curve fits on Olympic and Paralympic men’s 200m times. They indicated that not only was there no advantage conferred to users of carbon fiber feet, but that there appeared to be a stable, persistent 1.5 second disadvantage accruing to their use.

In order to determine whether a coin is loaded, you don’t have to subject it to x-rays and MRIs. You just flip it a bunch of times. If it falls to either side of 50/50, it’s loaded.

Well, this particular coin has been getting flipped for a decade. There is no advantage to carbon fiber feet. There is in fact a stable disadvantage.

Oscar Pistorius is running with ankle weights, and he doesn’t even have ankles. He is laboring under a persistent second-and-a-half disadvantage, and yet still managed to run Olympic qualifying times two out of three times. In order to do this, he must be a staggering athlete, and if he had been born with ankles and feet, Usain Bolt would be selling encyclopedias someplace.

Still working an the article about this, but here’s a draft … shows the graphs and data, at least.

(This is where the mathematics side of my personality comes in. I don’t consider it significantly different from the musical side, so all three of my readers will have to tolerate what appears to be an upwelling of jockiness in the middle of my complaints about notating something in six flats when the relative major is a six-sharp key.)