May 25, 2013
Paralympics no contest
The Olympic Games for handicapped persons are an excellent idea to give joy and a reason for living to people must go through life with handicaps of various degrees, but as a sporting contest they can not be taken seriously. There are so many different types of handicaps and different types of prosthetics that in spite of having different categories in the games, contestants still do not start events with equal handicaps.
When “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius, who became famous because he also ran in the main Olympic Games, was beaten in a race, he complained that his Brazilian rival had longer blades replacing his legs. His protest may have seemed ridiculous, but it brought up the point mentioned above and also, as time goes by, more efficient prosthetics will go on the market (which, by the way, under present circumstances, which must not last, would not be available to Argentine athletes due to currency and import restrictions). It has even been mentioned that with improved apparatuses, handicapped athletes may soon have a good chance of beating able-bodied rivals and their advantages, even now, were mentioned in a previous SPORTSWORLD column.
I also once watched a match by Argentina’s usually successful blind soccer team — and, I repeat, this is great for blind people who want to play the game — but it was more like a parody of the game. The man with the ball went one way, while the defender, who had to take it off him, went the other way. Defenders were preparing to
stop a ball which was not going in their direction. An example of this could be seen in a photo published in Olé last Saturday.
Yet the Paralympics were held in London in front of big crowds — for some events sold out — and had more media coverage than ever and this was achieved in a much shorter period of years than the real Olympics. As a result, big business and sponsors — who found it profitable to sponsor handicapped people — have moved in. Although tickets were a lot cheaper than for the real Olympics just before, a profit of 55 million dollars is expected by the organizers.
Money has always helped sport, but at the same time spoiled it. Will handicapped participants now want prize money for medal winners and for their participation, eventually leading to the mess soccer is in? The most famous, Pistorius, can expect two million dollars a year from endorsements.
AFIP AGAIN. Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide — who never seems to finish any of his cases — has asked the tax authorities for information on 444 player transfers to Europe, mainly due to false passports. He started to investigate false passports several years ago with no result. Does he really think the AFIP has these details now?