Running Blades

London will welcome 1,100 athletes to compete in the 2012 Paralympics in between August and September. Many paralympians with limb loss will be using running blades to help them compete at the highest level.

The running blade is a J-shaped, high performance carbon composite prosthetic sprinting foot, designed to store and release energy in order to mimic the reaction of the functional foot/ankle joint of able-bodied runners.

Why do we need this innovation?

Artificial limbs have come a long way. Older prosthetics were made of wood, metal and leather. They were a actually made to look like a foot, sacrificing performance of the foot over how it looks.

With the help of modern technology people can often lead the kind of lives they want, achieving things that were almost unimaginable in previous generations. After running on blades for only four years, Oscar Pistorius is a world champion sprinter who has broken his own world records some 30 times. He is the first ever Paralympian to win Gold in each of the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints (Beijing 2008), and his international reputation as the ‘fastest man on no legs’ is gaining momentum with every race.

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