Comments: 109 • Responses: 31 • Date: 2012-09-17 16:03:33 UTC
StefReid43 karma2012-09-17 17:46:38 UTC
Regarding the debate surrounding the issue of whether or not Oscar should be able to compete in the Olympics, I think the focus has been on the wrong question – “Does Oscar have an advantage using two blades rather than 2 human feet?” I suspect that Oscar is working as hard, if not harder than his able bodied competition. But I think the point is mute.
I think that apples should race apples, and oranges should race oranges. It is not discriminatory; it is just the reality of having a meaningful race. At the end of the day, running on 2 blades is different to running on two human feet. The fact that Oscar can run 400m in the same time as an elite able bodied 400m runner does not automatically mean they should be in the same race. For example, the world record for the men’s T54 wheelchair 400m is 45.07 seconds, which is well under the Olympic A standard for men’s 400m. Should they be allowed to race able bodied runners in the Olympics as well? It is easier to say no because the difference is more obvious – they are using their arms, not their legs. But the principle is still there regarding Oscar. I want to be wrong about this, and I hope that someone does come up with a better argument than me. But this is the point that I, personally, get stuck on.
I definitely sympathize with Oscar. He is an athlete ahead of his time, and I can understand his desire for a new challenge as the rest of Paralympic world has yet to catch up with him. I definitely support his participation in able bodied events for two reasons: 1) His ability to compete with able bodied athletes demonstrates to the public how far Paralympic sport has come 2) He should be able to make a living competing at meets like the Diamond League. It is my hope that in years to come, amputee runners continue to develop that are able to challenge Oscar so that racing a Paralympic 400m is a little more exciting and challenging for him. I think the day will come when top able bodied runners who are looking for a new challenge, request entrance to Paralympic events!
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StefReid42 karma2012-09-17 18:45:42 UTC
An obscene amount - too embarrassed to say! But I should probably add that my husband was also in the athlete's village. He competed as a wheelchair racer for Canada. We hadn't seen each other in 3 months.
StefReid38 karma2012-09-17 17:18:35 UTC
Assuming that "primitive weapons" allows for the possibility of me riding bare-backed on a T-rex, I am quite confident I could defeat any and all dinosaurs!
StefReid21 karma2012-09-17 17:00:37 UTC
The best part is the atmosphere of the athlete's village. We live in this bubble that is both awesome and weird. You are surrounded by driven and motivated people that share your interests and passion. The after parties are also pretty awesome :-)
StefReid16 karma2012-09-17 17:16:50 UTC
I think if anything, the accident ended up having a really positive impact on my romantic life. After becoming an amputee, I had a choice to make - I needed to decide if I still had value as a person even though I was different. I needed to decide if I still thought I was beautiful, even though I didn't look like models in a magazine. I realized that the number of limbs I had didn't affect who I was as a person. It helped me to develop an quiet inner confidence. Confidence is attractive, and I never had problems getting a date after the accident!
StefReid16 karma2012-09-17 17:48:29 UTC
HAHAHAHAH............this made me laugh out loud!!! I do apologize to them, but it is more of a "I am sorry you are so slow" :-)
StefReid15 karma2012-09-17 17:02:31 UTC
I am a keynote speaker (I hate saying I am a movtivational speaker because it sounds really cheesy!). But I am also completing my Masters in Nutrition. My undergraduate degree is in biochemistry, and nutrition seemed like the best way to combine my love for sport with my love for the lab!
StefReid15 karma2012-09-17 17:37:16 UTC
YES!!!! I am very competitive!!!
StefReid14 karma2012-09-17 17:22:39 UTC
YES, possibly worse! It is impossible to find an unused condom anywhere the morning after the closing ceremonies party
StefReid11 karma2012-09-17 17:29:26 UTC
Being in the arena with that much support was absolutely incredible!!! I wish everyone at some point in their life could experience what it is like to have 80,000 people cheering for you! I am not upset or bitter about the combined points system. I knew the rules going in and I was prepared to compete. The points system is not perfect, it is a work in progress. The system is based off statistics, and I am confident the IPC did the best they could considering the low sample group they had to work off. The only thing that is frustrating is the lack of consistency from the IPC when choosing which groups to combine. For example, they held a T13 long jump final with only 6 participants, yet they chose to combine my long jump event with 42s (single above knee amputee) when more than 14 T44s (single below knee amputee) qualified independently for the games. Thank you for your encouragement!
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