THE FIVE

Amputee's Olympic advantage?

Michael Johnson blasts 'Blade Runner'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," July 19, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Sometimes the world needs jerks. For example, former Olympian Michael Johnson is technically a jerk. He pointed out a guy with no legs in the Olympics is troubling to him.

South African Para-Olympian Oscar is able-bodied this 400-meters, even though he runs on two carbon fiber legs.

Now when Johnson was asked if Oscar's inclusion made sense he said, quote, "Because we don't know for sure whether he gets an advantage from the prosthetics, it is unfair to the able-bodied competitors."

And scientists do suggest these manmade gams could boost speed by up to 20 percent. Maybe because he is lighter or there is a spring in his step, who knows? How do we miss this?

Did this amazing man and amazing legs sprint past us so fast we didn't see it's no different than steroids. Or did the Olympic flack suffer from frozen P.C. syndrome. Stuck in their tracks, they thought, maybe it's not fair but I'm not saying anything.

That's why you kind of need jerks like Michael Johnson. He takes the heat for what others might be thinking.

But the bigger story is a triumph of human innovation this is. The fact we're actually having this debate means we're to a point where lacking limbs can't hold you back from achieving greatness.

The story isn't he disabled. He's practically super human. Tribute to great things Americans make. Even if you know who thinks we don't do it on our own.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: So true.

GUTFELD: Bob, this guy is pretty impressive, very impressive.

But is Johnson, even though he may sound like a jerk, is he making a valid point?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Listen, it's a remarkable achievement this guy has had. But the fact that we know these blades do enhance speed, and by every indication they, do he has competed and done very well in this event. I think it's giving him in some ways an advantage. That we're not quite sure of what it is yet.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BECKEL: Until they can show it's equivalent to human legs in terms of speed and the rest of it, I think Johnson -- I hate to say it. I don't want to be a bad guy either. But the fact is you start doing this and this stuff gets better and better. When does it end?

GUTFELD: Well, that's the point, Andrea. In four years or eight years, you know, how technology is. This will surpass the human leg.

And then what do you do?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: And as you pointed, it's part of a larger debate we've been having over if you don't have the God-given ability, should you enhance your body? Whether it's steroids? What if it is a spelling bee or some brainiac competition and you put a brain chip in? They make you faster or smarter.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: I think let the guy run. Don't be exclusive. But create a separate category for people with prosthetics.

GUTFELD: He is in the Paralympics. But I mean, a third thing?

TANTAROS: Keep it in the --

GUTFELD: You what it's going to be, it's actually Paralympics Olympics and then super Olympics with people with incredible limbs who will break every single record, right?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: It's going to be like watching the bionic man

GUTFELD: Exactly. This isn't bionic, but they do make bionics.

BECKEL: Do you know in two more Olympics from now, even you with technology might be able to compete for something. I'm not sure what it would be.

GUTFELD: The high jump.

BECKEL: The high jump, no. I wouldn't push yourself that far.

GUTFELD: Kimberly, this guy is incredible. I want to ask you about the article. Para Olympians are saying we'd gladly trade the advantage for real legs. You get that sentiment but is that logical response?

GUILFOYLE: Look, I think he should be able to run. Honestly, I can't kind of get around the idea that people think he shouldn't be allowed to.

The poor man doesn't have legs. He has done incredible things to get to the point where he is. He should be able to compete in the Olympics. With v we become that small-minded?

GUTFELD: But it's not small-minded.

GUILFOYLE: I don't know.

GUTFELD: Let me ask you this -- what if somebody was competing for your seat and they had like a robotic head? I don't know.

BECKEL: Robotic legs.

GUILFOYLE: Like this? Andrea and I would get rid of that person.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Running shoes so if you were another competitor you might ask well, can I put springs in my running shoes that mimic that same advantage that he gets.

GUTFELD: Using the technology.

PERINO: Yes. Those technology keep ratcheting up. Four years ago we had a big debate about the swimming suit. If you were wealthy enough to have a fancy swimming suit, that you would actually have a little bit of an edge, you know, when it's down to 0.20 of a second or something.

GUTFELD: Or you just shave your body hair, which I do regularly and I don't even swim. It doesn't help at all.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, I don't know.

BECKEL: Ugly.

GUTFELD: It really is.

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