A Competitive Edge?


I have written a second post for The Conversation about the Sochi Paralympics.

My lead into the post is:

As with the Winter Olympics held earlier this year, some athletes benefit from a very comprehensive, bespoke service to support their performance. This kind of service raises important issues about whether technology and engineering innovations are “essential for performance” or constitute “performance enhancement”.

I am interested in following up on the ethical dimensions of this essential/enhancement distinction in the context of the IPC’s mandate:

In principle unnatural or artificial aids which modify the performance of the competitors and/or constitute a technical correction of the individual’s physical predisposition to a defective performance, as well as competition equipment which impact the health of the competitors or increase the risk of accidents are to be excluded.

Photo Credit

A competitive edge: design and technology at the Paralympics (Frame Grab)

Paralympic Classifications

This week I had an opportunity to write an ‘explainer‘ for The Conversation about Winter Paralympic Classification.

Explainer 1

I am hopeful that it is a reasonable explanation of the process and outcomes of classification. It includes a discussion of the Factor System in use too.

I wrote an explainer for the Summer Paralympics in 2012.

Explainer 2

Photo Credits

Frame Grabs (Winter Paralympics Explainer, Summer Paralympics Explainer)

Wikipedia and the Paralympics

In late August this year I wrote in The Conversation about the HoPAU Project and the use of Wikipedia to share information about Paralympic athletes and teams.

This is my fourth post on Clyde Street to follow up on The Conversation post.

Following the London Paralympics (1 September)

Wikinews and Wikipedia at the London Paralympics (4 September)

Paralympic Conversations (11 September)

Team members from the HoPAU Project have shared some of the work undertaken during the Games.

Greg Blood notes that all the following pages have been updated:


All Australian medallists at the London Games have had their Wikipedia entries updated to include their medals.

Laura Hale discovered that Athlete Classification pages on Wikipedia received significant interest. For example, T37 and T38 had approximately 100,000 views.

Graham Pearce points out that the actual total number of views on Wikipedia may not be know as there was a problem with Wikipedia statistics from 3 to 10 September.

Notwithstanding the data difficulties, these were the kinds of views two athletes and a team received towards the end of the Games:

Jacqueline Freney

Matt Cowdrey:

The Steelers Wheelchair Rugby team:

Photo Credit

The Track Ahead