Paralympics: The Games Where Bionic Athletes Reign

Illustration for article titled Paralympics: The Games Where Bionic Athletes Reign

Tech and the Olympics are a recipe for controversy. Before double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius (right) was finally approved to compete in the Olympics (he failed to qualify, barely), naysayers claimed his carbon-fiber Cheetah blade prostheses gave him an advantage over non-cyborg competitors. And Speedo's LZR suit has been decried for rendering meaningless any world records that came before. But that debate is dropped entirely for the Paralympic Games, which are currently going on in Beijing and as we see in today's Big Picture, is where the sports tech comes out in force. Prosthethics tech is where some of our baddest engineers are working today, from Dean Kamen's Luke Skywalker arm to the Cheetah itself, which is one of the first prosthetic legs to allow near-natural sprinting. But beyond that, tech aids large and small are what helps level (and then raise) the playing field of the Paralympics. Whether it's super-aerodynamic sprinting wheelchairs as advanced and light as any Olympic road cycle, or simple mods to make things possible in sports where they wouldn't be for disabled athletes under normal circumstances.

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Illustration for article titled Paralympics: The Games Where Bionic Athletes Reign
Illustration for article titled Paralympics: The Games Where Bionic Athletes Reign
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Illustration for article titled Paralympics: The Games Where Bionic Athletes Reign

More great pics as always over at: [Big Picture]

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DISCUSSION

m4ximusprim3
m4ximusprim3

This is so freaking cool. I can't wait for the day when their kit starts getting so good that they start sprinting faster than their full bodied counterparts. I would definitely watch the bionic olympics.

By the way- what is the guy in the middle (with the head thing) doing?