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)

Produsing Olympic Images

The Sochi Opening Ceremony has prompted some interesting produsage of images.

This T-shirt appeared for sale on 10 February.



The Olympic Charter (7.4) states:

The Olympic symbol, flag, motto, anthem, identifications (including but not limited to “Olympic Games” and “Games of the Olympiad”), designations, emblems, flame and torches, as defined in Rules 8-14 below, may, for convenience, be collectively or individually referred to as “Olympic properties”. All rights to any and all Olympic properties, as well as all rights to the use thereof, belong exclusively to the IOC, including but not limited to the use for any profit-making, commercial or advertising purposes. The IOC may license all or part of its rights on terms and conditions set forth

The vibrancy of social media offers a very strong challenge to virtual ownership of images and their transformation.

The Opening Ceremony symbol problem took people back to some street art first seen in Bristol in 2011. The serendipity is that the same ring is involved.


The Pure Evil Gallery prodused this image on Instagram: