If you watched the beginning of track and field events this weekend at the London 2012 Olympics, this headline should be of no surprise. South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius dream of running in the Olympics even though he has lived his whole life as a double amputee came true. He never saw himself as disabled as he grew up in a very athletic family who never let his lack of feet stop him from living an active life. While he had competed before in the Paralympics, it was his goal to run alongside other able bodied athletes. He was initially denied his opportunity to compete. After arbitration process with the International Olympic Committee and research data proving that his prosthetic ‘legs’ offered him no special advantage, he was allowed to compete.
For those of us not running on carbon fiber feet, keeping the ligaments and tendons stretched and healthy is paramount. Many of the problems we see as Austin podiatrists are a result of muscle imbalance or tightening. There are definitely feet and ankle problems that require specialized intervention, and you should always seek out a podiatrist is symptoms don’t resolve after a few days. If you are a regular subscriber to our blog, you have seen how we try to promote flexibility and strengthening along with any sport or activity. Yoga is one of those activities that offer both and can be a great adjunct to your running program.
As for Mr. Pistorius, he failed to make it to the 400 meter finals after shocking many in the sport by qualifying in the first round. Even though he didn’t medal, he will always be the first double amputee to run at the Olympics. While he won’t be competing in the 400 meter finals, you will still get to see the ‘Blade Runner’ compete later this week in the 4 by 400 meter relay. In addition to Pistorius, there were several notable performances this weekend in Olympic Track and Field. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt maintained his record as the world’s fastest man in the 100 meter. Our very own Sandy Richards-Ross won gold in the women’s 400 meter. Look for more exciting races this week!