A deadline is missed

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September 1st, 2010 Aabhas Sharma

Every morning when you pick up the newspaper there are more than a couple of stories on the Commonwealth Games. At least for those of us living in the Capital, this has become a regular feature. Most of these stories tell us about the stadiums won’t be ready on time or how the debris and mess created courtesy CWG won’t be cleaned up before the Games. More or less it’s all about missing the deadlines which were set. In between all this chaos, there’s one story – about missing deadlines – which hasn’t got much attention. It’s the story of Oscar Pistorius, a South African athlete.

Pistorius, also known as The Blade Runner is an extraordinary athlete. He is 23-years-old and is “the fastest man on no legs”. A double amputee, Pistorius runs with the aid of carbon fibre artificial limbs and competed with “normal” athletes in 2007 for the first time. However, claims were made that he has an unfair advantage over other runners. Yes, you’re reading it right. A double amputee having an advantage over people who can walk, run and do other things which Pistorius just can’t do. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) actually amended its rules to ban the use of “any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device”.

After monitoring his track performances and carrying out tests, scientists took the view that Pistorius “enjoyed” considerable advantages over athletes without prosthetic limbs. Thanks to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the decision was reversed on the basis of insufficient evidence.

Pistorius failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics though he did win gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400 metre sprints at the 2008 Summer Paralympics. He has reiterated his desire to compete in the 2010 London Olympics.

Earlier, this month Pistorius missed out on the chance of competing at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He missed out on qualifying for South Africa’s Commonwealth Games team by two hundredths of a second. He worked as hard as he could but in the end missed out on the chance to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

In all the talk about the country is going to embarrass themselves and what a shambolic event the Games are going to be, maybe we should think about someone like Pistorius. There are lessons to be learnt in the mess that has been created thanks to the people behind organizing the Games. Pistorius missed a deadline and aims to rectify that by correcting the mistakes he made. Will the authorities do the same? Your guess is as good as mine.

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One Response to “A deadline is missed”

  1. Anne Perre Says:

    Wow truly insightful and very well written. Thank you Mr. Sharma.

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