Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know if there's an unfair advantage, but if not for sports, then at the very least it's good news for normal life.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @11:38AM (#47543277)

    From TFA

    Rehm runs and jumps with a specially designed blade that is 15 inches longer than his other leg

    I can't imagine why anyone would accuses him of 'cheating' ...

    The device is like a spring, so it stores energy as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage, and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

    I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

    • by Smallpond (221300)

      From TFA

      Rehm runs and jumps with a specially designed blade that is 15 inches longer than his other leg

      I can't imagine why anyone would accuses him of 'cheating' ...

      The device is like a spring, so it stores energy as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage, and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

      I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

      It would be like wearing $500 shoes in a marathon when other runners are barefoot. Or like using a wind tunnel to train your bobsled team!

      • by Gr8Apes (679165)

        From TFA

        Rehm runs and jumps with a specially designed blade that is 15 inches longer than his other leg

        I can't imagine why anyone would accuses him of 'cheating' ...

        The device is like a spring, so it stores energy as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage, and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

        I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

        It would be like wearing $500 shoes in a marathon when other runners are barefoot. Or like using a wind tunnel to train your bobsled team!

        Not quite, all the other runners can wear $500 shoes too. The wind tunnel is used to design better bobsleds, not train in. Unless all competitors can utilize similar "appendages", yes, it's not fair.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Specifically, not having lost a leg, can I put a spring on my leg and claim a championship?

      • by tommeke100 (755660) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @11:55AM (#47543419)
        I can't speak for long jump, but in high jump your shoes are definately regulated.
        you're not allowed for example to have shoes that have a sole thicker than a certain amount.
        I just looked it up and apparently it's the same for long jump shoes.
        So yes, I don't think springs or a blade qualify as valid shoes in this case (especially if the blade is 18 inches longer than your other leg!).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The concept of fairness is kind of iffy as it stands, no ?
      People aren't made equal from the start, so sports aren't fair by definition.

      • by Megol (3135005)

        So true!

      • by uncqual (836337)

        The same rules must apply to all for a competition to be fair.

        Since I'm under 6 feet tall, should I be able to join an NBA team and every time I attempt a slam dunk, should the hoop be lowered for me? Or, should I be able to use a drone to drop the ball into the basket? Of course not.

        In a coding competition, should people with IQs under 100 be given the problem three hours before those with IQs over 100?

        Athletic contests are, by nature, partially a test of the athlete's native "good luck" at the lottery of

    • I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

      It's Deus Ex: Human Revolution coming to real life. Next thing you know it'll be someone with some other disability going ahead. Perhaps a footballer with a prosthetic that helps him catch and hold the ball. The tipping point (as it is in the game) is when you can get near natural control of a prosthetic by connecting it directly to a persons nerves or brain.

      • by Intron (870560)

        Too late. One third of MLB pitchers have now had surgery to allow them to continue pitching at a high level. But steroids will still get you banned. Seems sort of inconsistent to me.

        http://bleacherreport.com/arti... [bleacherreport.com]

      • What about the golfer that sued to use a golf cart between holes, when every other player has to walk? He has a medical condition that prevents him from being able to walk far.

    • by beh (4759) *

      Hmm - I could partially understand the extra strength and mechanical advantage in the Pistorius case - I can't quite see it with Markus Rehm.

      Pistorius had BOTH legs amputated, so you can potentially improve on both sides. Rehm had ONE leg amputated - adding extra length doesn't make any sense one one side only. Similarly, I would guess it would make it very difficult to run evenly, if the prosthetic leg doesn't about match the other one in length, in "bounce" (in the step), ...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You'd have a point if he was a runner.
        He is not.

        He is a jumper and he takes off using his prosthetic.

      • by maird (699535) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @01:02PM (#47543871) Homepage
        Rehm might go faster than naturally legged racers in the 100m circle.
      • Long jumpers jump from the same leg every time - in Markus Rehm's case, his take-off leg just happens to be the prosthetic one.

        Plus (and this is the biggie with regards to all prosthetic appendages IHMO) - he has one leg which effectively cannot get injured. He's less likely to suffer any training setbacks during his build-up to major events. If his prosthetic leg snaps a week before the worlds, he can simply replace it. With a real leg, there'd be no chance for it to heal in time. Hell, he doesn't even ha

        • by Wycliffe (116160)

          he doesn't even have to deal with blisters on one of his feet.

          I doubt this. From what I know of prosthetics the attachment point is prone to all kinds of problems with blisters, rubbing, chaffing, etc...

          This is more of an extended shoe that still connects to the leg which brings up an interesting point.
          If you ban this do you also ban someone who has one leg longer than the other and needs a 2 inch sole? What about an 8 inch sole?
          What about someone who has corrective surgery to fix the length of their leg or someone who has elective surgery to increase the
          length of b

      • adding extra length doesn't make any sense one one side only

        I think they mean it's longer because it's got the usual curving blade shape. He still stands the same height on it.

        • by beh (4759) *

          I would guess they mean it's longer because they count its length as one piece - not as a lower leg and a foot.

          Still - in terms of dimensions, it needs to be a good match with his other leg -- unlike Pistorius who would have been able to go for optimized prosthetics on both legs that would be better than "normal" legs might be... (i.e. watch the Aimee Mullins TED talk on how she can vary her height fairly significantly just through the choice of legs she wears)...

    • by ATMAvatar (648864)

      I can't imagine why anyone would accuses him of 'cheating' ...

      The device is like a spring, so it stores energy as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage, and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

      I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

      Oh, and I suppose Pitch-O-Mat 5000 was just a modified howitzer?

    • by sjames (1099)

      The human leg provides a spring effect as well. He is missing all of the springiness of his achilles tendon. He is also missing all of the contribution of his calf muscles to the jump. It really is quite hard to calculate with any precision if his prosthetic is giving him an advantage or if it is simply replacing some of what he has lost.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        The human leg is rather ridged as its bone, it certainly doesn't flex and rebound in a way that stores usable energy of any amount worth mentioning. Watching this device in action clearly does. The achilles tendon doesn't stretch several inches when stressed, lest it snap.

        No one he's competing against has an additional 15 inches of leg formed into a compound lever of high tech polymers and metal.

        Take a look at the picture, its pretty clear the machine has an advantage over a normal leg in this particular

        • by sjames (1099)

          The leg has a lot of spring due to the tendon and muscle attached at the ankle. With the ankle extended, it does a very good job of storing and releasing energy. That's one reason the runners who don't normally wear shoes do better, they don't get in the habit of heel striking.

          In the prosthetic, the spring is trying to compensate both for the spring action of the tendon and muscle AND the contraction of the calf on takeoff. He doesn't get that last instant energy boost, he has to 'save up' for it in his str

        • Yet with all that, he still was outdone by 8 other athletes.

    • The device is like a spring, so it stores energy

      So... a bit like a tendon?

      as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage

      Does it actually have a mechnical advantage?

      and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

      Again, does it? Have you tried to break someone's leg, versus breaking their blade? Of course, one definite advantage is that if it does break, you just put on a new one, rather than spending months in rehabilitation.

      But it's not like running with a blade doesn't have any disadvantages. Not having any ankle muscles is presumably one such.

      • and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

        Again, does it? Have you tried to break someone's leg, versus breaking their blade? Of course, one definite advantage is that if it does break, you just put on a new one, rather than spending months in rehabilitation.

        Actually, I wonder about that. If he is putting enough force on it to break it (maybe it gets really worn out from practice), and it breaks while all his weight is on it trying to lift him over the bar, it seems that he is going to hit the pavement hard on the remainder of his amputated limb.

        The blade may be easily replaced with an identical one, but I don't know how well his already-damaged body will do.

      • by hondo77 (324058)

        The device is like a spring, so it stores energy

        So... a bit like a tendon?

        The same way a motorcycle is a bit like a bicycle.

    • by Megol (3135005)

      Those "15 inches longer" is due to it being a spring mechanism and being folded - just look at some pictures of the dude, if it really was 15" higher it would be impossible to run using it.

      About him using the prosthetic when launching: is he left or right legged? I think that is more important than the fact that the prosthetic is a spring, after all a real leg have real muscles that can be used to *shock* launch the jumper too.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      As a side note, take a minute to realize how amazingly good prosthetic limbs have become that using one has become an unfair advantage.

  • Just like car racing, we need different divisions for athletics. One for stock, unmodified humans like us. No drugs, etc. And the "top fuel" division for prosthetics, hormones, steroids, etc. My interest in several sports (bicycling, weightlifting) has already died because of rampant drug abuse. Heck, if you don't do drugs then you won't even qualify for televised events. It's sort of like F1 racing, it's not really a competition between humans, it's a competition between scientists.

    Ever since the Oly

    • Ever since the Olympics went professional, it's been boring.

      Maybe to you. Personally I disagree. I want to see the best of the best competing on the most level playing field we can devise. Whether they get paid for it or not is irrelevant to me.

      • When there's money in it, people will cheat. That's what causes all the drug problems.
        • When there's money in it, people will cheat.

          I have news for you. People cheat even when there isn't money in it [bicycling.com]. Money makes the problem worse but it isn't the root of the problem. Some people just want to win, no matter what. Money alone really isn't enough to explain the cheating in high level athletics. It's a factor but not as big as you might assume.

          I've competed at the Division 1 college level of athletics for a top tier program in my sport of choice (not cycling). Nobody gets into sport at that level because of money though it might help

    • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

      Hey, easy now!
      Scientists are humans too.

    • by Intron (870560)

      Now define "unmodified humans". People who have had appendectomies are lighter than the rest, so that's an unfair mod, right? People who have had polio vaccine are much stronger than people who have had polio, so that's clearly an unfair advantage.

      • Oh, gimme a freakin' break. Appendectomy, really? Polio victims are crippled and won't pass the qualifying rounds. Or did you just come up with ridiculous examples for some unclear end?
        • by Wycliffe (116160) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @07:41PM (#47546387) Homepage

          Oh, gimme a freakin' break. Appendectomy, really? Polio victims are crippled and won't pass the qualifying rounds. Or did you just come up with ridiculous examples for some unclear end?

          The point of these "ridiculous examples" is to show that very few people now days are "unmodified".
          Where do you draw the line? Olympic bicyclists have one leg larger than the other. Many other
          professionals like weight lifters, etc... are similiarly deformed. Weird protein shakes and specialized
          diets are the norm. Reinjecting your own blood right before game time is pretty common in some sports.
          It's not a drug or enhancement but clearly is not something that should be allowed. How do you
          regulate these things? What about someone who has a medical condition and needs to take steroids
          or some other drug like an antidepressant that has a side effect of enhanced performance.
          Professional sports for the most part are already twisted into a sport for only accidental freaks of nature
          who in addition to having some lucky physical trait also train round the clock 24/7 with specialized diets
          and specialized exercise routines. We all might be better off if we just say anything goes and see exactly
          how far we can push technology and the human body instead of pretending that all athletes are normal
          human beings that just walked in off the street.

        • by Nidi62 (1525137)

          Oh, gimme a freakin' break. Appendectomy, really?

          Wrestlers used to draw a couple pints of blood before weigh-ins to drop a couple ounces to make weight. After the weigh-in they would re-inject the blood.

    • by AuMatar (183847)

      Lets be fair- its always been boring. Nobody gives a fuck about these sports for 3.9 years out of 4. Nobody should care about them the other .1 either. Or are you buying tickets to the local synchronized diving competition?

  • those claiming so are free to remove any extraneous limbs of their own

    • Which surgeons are willing to do so? I don't think surgeons are even willing to remove dead-weight paralyzed limbs or limbs that the brain refuses to recognize [wikipedia.org] if the limbs otherwise appear physically healthy.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't think surgeons are even willing to remove dead-weight paralyzed limbs

        Yes, they are.

        Think of a person who has one non-functioning leg, and has therefore little other choice than to use a wheelchair, as with crutches he would simply drag his leg around, creating a considerable burden (think pendulum kind of swinging motions, possibly even kicking the crutch next to the non-functioning leg, causing the user to fall).

        Without such a leg he could move about much more easily, and if part of the upper leg c

        • by Triklyn (2455072)

          ... that'd be criminal. unless it were gangrenous.

          first off, any major surgery involves a great deal of risk. infection, and otherwise.
          secondly, there's always hope. paralyzed limb, limited neural regrowth is probably not that far off. and throw it in a brace if it gets in the wa.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      you are laughing now, but just wait few years

  • by pmontra (738736) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @12:11PM (#47543493) Homepage
    Eventually prosthetics will get so good that they'll let athletes achieve much better results than any unmodified human. When it happens everybody will see that the only way to go is different categories for different equipments. We are bound by compassion and politically correctness until we get to that point, so how to address this problem now? Call me hard hearted but I'd still apply my reasoning and enforce different categories right now even if we are in doubt of who's getting an advantage at the moment.
  • I would guess advantages can only be properly quantified if both his legs are prosthetics because when you have one real leg the capabilities of other leg has to be adjusted to match the real one.
  • by zephvark (1812804) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @12:29PM (#47543613)

    Egg lig ibble? Really? Egg lig ibble?

    I understand that the title "Slashdot Editor" is intended largely for comedic effect... I hope. Perhaps we could just get the place renamed to Slapstick.com ...oh, that's taken. How about Slapdash.com, that seems to be up for sale.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @12:39PM (#47543683)

    If you watch the jump carefully you'll notice that he takes off (launches) from the prosthetic leg. I wouldn't be complaining too much if he took off from his real leg.

    Look at the kangaroo, a kangaroo has a very long Achilles tendon. This allows them to be very efficient in jumping buy storing up so much energy when it stretches out like a rubber band enabling them to jump very far with very little effort. Humans on the other hand, have very short achilles tendons and therefore do not have this mechanical advantage.

    When landing, the impact force and weight of the this guy is absorbed by active elastic stretch of the prosthetic. When he jumps, the weight is accelerated by a recoil force due to elastic recoil of the the prosthetic. This recoil force is much greater than that of what our our achilles tendon plus the active contraction of our calf muscle can do.

    This guy has the equivilant of a 15inch long achilles tendon. As if you look at the video when he actually makes the jump, you'll see the prosthetic "foot" is bent 90 degrees from it's normal angle. The human achilles tendon is a) not 15in long and b) doesn't bend 90 degrees.

    As a side note, I would assume there is no "fatigue" or decrease in "springiness" of the prosthetic between his first, second and third jumps. He could always show up to an event with a brand new prosthetic.

    He's cheating.

    • by maird (699535)
      The prosthetic must have two selectable operations so that his run can be guaranteed to be so balanced and he also does well to ensure that he always launches the jump from the prosthetic. At the end of the day, if there has to be a new competitive division for those with a prosthetic then his most important goal is to avoid it being a lower athletic standard than the ones he divides from so good luck to him in trying to avoid it being called paralympics or equivalent.
    • by pmontra (738736)
      I fully agree but as a side note it seems that the tail of kangaroos also plays an important role in jumping http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]
  • I would think if you're allowed to attach any mechanical device you want where your legs would be I'd think someone would come up with a catapult that would just hurl him the length of a football field. No one's touching that record.
  • by michael_cain (66650) on Sunday July 27, 2014 @02:34PM (#47544413) Journal
    Athletes regularly have laser surgery to improve their vision to 20/10 or better. Baseball hitters in particular claim that it gives them an advantage in terms of being able to see the spin on the ball sooner. Should that be allowed?
    • by pmontra (738736)
      Maybe yes, maybe no but that's pretty minor. Instead how about having to decide to get your legs removed to have a chance to win a gold medal in most track and field events in the standard Olympic Games? Inevitably somebody will decide it's worth trying (so many crazy people) and that would start something pretty nasty, much worse than doping. I rather prevent it.
  • As a disabled person, this whole discussion strikes me as some pretty big sour grapes. I sure never see this level of abject shock and horror about how fair things should be when it comes to me not being able to participate in things. But aside from this post, I usually don't whine about how unfair things are. Life gives some people different advantages. Sorry 99% of the people on this thread, you're getting a tiny look into what every day is like for disabled people.
  • So, lets say I lose my right arm, get a bionic arm, and start 'weight lifting' - enter the olympics, and demonstrate ultra strength with my bionic arm. Legit?

    It's exactly as legitimate as long jumping from a prosthetic spring-board. There's nothing even remotely fair about allowing him to compete with non-spring-boarded athletes. I wish him luck and applaud his strength and will to try, though.

  • It was always going to happen - now it finally has. We have the Olympics and the Paralympics - because the athletes in the Paralympics cannot compete against non-handicapped athletes. Now, at least in some circumstances, it is possible to replace missing biological parts with superior parts (at least for a specific task).

    Some athletes will take any advantage they can get. For years now, it has been impossible to win certain events without doping (Tour de France). Remember the biologically male athletes from

  • Does the surface contract point of the prosthetic also mean that he can jump from closer to the line than somebody with a normal footprint?

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

Working...