Sep. 12, 2016 05:54PM EST
Algerian, Kenyan and Ethiopian visually impaired runners outperform Olympians. The Ethiopian crosses fists in solidarity with Oromo protests.
I have to admit that when I heard that four Paralympians just ran the men's 1500 meter faster than the able-bodied Olympians at the Rio games, I assumed it was because of some carbon fibre blade technology à la Oscar Pistorius.
<p>Here's a perfect example of how biases warp perspective. Specifically my biases warping my perspective—the runners were competing in the visually impaired classification.</p><p>Nonetheless, they all ran faster than Olympic gold medalist<strong> Michael Centrowitz</strong> who finished in 3:50. By comparison the fourth placed Paralympian <strong>Fouad Baka</strong> came in at 3 minutes and 49.59. Baka's brother <strong>Abdellatif Baka</strong> won gold in a time of 3:48.29.</p><p><div class="preroll-video"></div><ora-player></ora-player></p><p>And one other thing, they're all Africans. Besides the Algerian Brothers, there was the bronze medalist<strong> Henry Kirwa</strong> from Kenya and silver medalist <strong>Tamiru Demisse</strong> of Ethiopia.</p><p>Demisse also made news at the finish line by crossing his fists above his head—<a href="http://www.okayafrica.com/op-ed-2/ethiopia-on-the-precipice-oromo-protest/" target="_blank">a show of solidarity with Ethiopian anti-government protesters</a>. This echoes his countryman, the marathon runner Feyisa Lelisa, at the Olympics, who is now looking for asylum in the United States after making a similar gesture.</p><p></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TamiruDemisse?src=hash">#TamiruDemisse</a>, not only he showed the protest sign, but also he refused to sing the national anthem <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ethiopia?src=hash">#Ethiopia</a> <a href="https://t.co/BUAITh6qrR">pic.twitter.com/BUAITh6qrR</a><p>— Milkiisaa Cimdeessaa (@roobsan) <a href="https://twitter.com/roobsan/status/775209952461852672">September 12, 2016</a></p></blockquote><p><script async="" charset="utf-8" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></p><p></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><a href="https://t.co/gvMtUnhfex">https://t.co/gvMtUnhfex</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ethiopia?src=hash">#Ethiopia</a>|n Athlete Tamiru Demisse did "X" gesture of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OromoProtests?src=hash">#OromoProtests</a>, takes silver: 1,500m <a href="https://t.co/2VOyGMOs6D">pic.twitter.com/2VOyGMOs6D</a><p>— Ethiopia Online (@EthiopiaOnline) <a href="https://twitter.com/EthiopiaOnline/status/775188856706568192">September 12, 2016</a></p></blockquote>
Keep reading... Show less