July 20, 2008
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, nicknamed "Blade Runner", will not be running in the Olympics. He failed to qualify in the 400m and was not selected for the 4x400m relay.
Pistorius received his nickname and running notoriety because he is a double amputee with two carbon-fiber prosthetics as legs; the prosthetics look like springy J-shaped blades. His bid to attempt an Olympic run was the subject of contention in the athletic community. Back in January 2008, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAFF) had ruled that Pistorius had an unfair advantage and shouldn't be allowed to compete against "able-bodied" athletes.
He appealed the ruling and in May, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the ban. A team of scientists led by Peter Weyand of Rice University, Houston, had done testing and found that Pistorius' prosthetic legs did not give him an unfair advantage.
While it's sad to see that Pistorius barely failed to make the 2008 Olympics, count on more discussions about prosthetics, body modifications, and whether some of these qualify as enhancements.