Technology in Paralympic Games Article Review Essay

Total Length: 1265 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

Page 1 of 4

The Critique: Begin with a Brief Summary

In this article, Burkett (2010) tries to identify the role that technology can help Paralympic athletes to compete in different sporting activities. The study focuses more on how technology can be made relevant to individual needs of Paralympic athletes. Moreover, it highlights the weaknesses and strengths in technologies used in the summer Paralympic games held in Athens and Beijing.  The objective of the study was to ensure that relevant technology could be provided the 2012 London Games. The study is important and necessary because different technologies have been used before to help Paralympic athletes compete in different games, but some of them have failed the athletes. Moreover, Burkett (2010) seeks to provide solutions to an existing problem and make Paralympic athletes able to compete well during the Paralympic games. The researcher does an in-depth analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on technologies available for use by Paralympic athletes to be able to compete well. Moreover, the researcher uses personal observations of technological developments at the Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008) Paralympic games. The observations and discussions on the use of technologies are carried on Paralympic athletes that took part in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic games in Athens and Beijing respectively (Burkett, 2010). The null hypothesis stated that the technology used in Paralympic games had no impact on the performance of Paralympic athletes. However, alternative hypothesis stated that technology used in Paralympic games has a significant impact on the performance of Paralympic athletes.

The outcome of the study revealed that standard assistive devices could inhibit the abilities of Paralympic athlete to perform well in the games. Burkett (2010) explained that every Paralympic athlete has unique challenges. Therefore, they should be provided with relevant assistive technologies to meet their individual needs. Burkett (2010) also showed that various technical adjustments had been realized especially in building prosthetic and wheelchair devices.

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The Paralympic athletes can use these devices well to compete well with others (Burkett, 2010). He reiterated the need for technology to make Paralympic games more effective and friendly to Paralympic athletes. He also showed that the technology used still does not offer a Paralympian any significant advantage over an athlete. In his conclusion, Burkett (2010) confirmed that technology must match the individual requirements of athletes to increase their safety and performance in the games. The researcher concluded that irrelevant technology promoted unfairness in international games and the need for a solution was timely. The technology reduces the ability for the athlete to compete and end up injuring the athletes too. The technology should provide for all the needs of an athlete for it to be considered effective and necessary (Nir, 2012).

Strengths and Weaknesses

Burkett’s (2010) article is associated with various strengths and weaknesses. As strength, he critically analyzes available literature on the significance of technology in Paralympic sports. Therefore, the researcher can get a brief history of how technology has been used in Paralympic sports. Moreover, the researcher can get the proper perspective to approach the study. The available literature highlights where there have been problems in the use of technology. Moreover, they show where significant progress has been made and how the athletes benefit from the development. As a result, the literature gives the researcher cues on the technologies present and how well they have been used to help Paralympic athletes compete well. The researcher is thus given a foundation on which he can benchmark his study. The literature also makes the study to achieve more credibility because the researcher can know the technologies have been used previously and the manner in which they have….....

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Brittain, I. (2016). The Paralympic games explained: Second edition. New York, NY: Routledge

Burkett, B. (2010). Technology in Paralympic Sport: Performance Enhancement or Essential for Performance? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(1), 215-220. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.067249

Nir, S. M. (2012). Paralympians’ equipment raises debate on fairness. The New York Times. Retrieved from Oct. 7, 2017.

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