June 22, 2007

Cubs vs. Bionics


So, I read this story about this guy who lost his legs, and now competes in the Special Olympics with state-of-the art bionic legs. He not only obliterates his Special Olympics competition, but can actually compete on the professional level with those who have no disability.

People have titanium knees. No big deal. Lasik vision helps them see better. No big deal.

But, what if someone gets robotic arms that can make them swing 40% faster than any other person on Earth? Will professional sports associations have to draw a line? Or are sports destined to become a battle not won by sweat, but by technology?

3 comments:

JMC said...

It certainly doesn't seem fair. I'm trying to think how it could be comparable to steroids, and then maybe the same rules regarding them could apply.

Aaron said...

I would argue that the examples you used are not really enhancing athletes. Knee replacement and Lasik are not being used for extra ordinary enhancement... they are repairing damage.

Furthermore, athletes with knee replacements rarely come back to a past performance level and Lasik will only get you 20/20 vision, which is optimal, but no different from wearing the contacts or glasses they already are playing with.

However, using a type of robotic arm that achieves performance above ordinary athletes is equal to using steroids in my book.

Sports will continue to progress to new heights no matter what technology brings... as long as every athlete has the same chance to use said technology. Look at tennis or golf... no professional plays with wooden equipment anymore. Why? Technology.

Jeff said...

I remember there was some show on CBS that was around for maybe 1 episode before it was cancelled that involved an athlete with a bionic eye. And there was a big controversy over it.

It was ridiculous.