The mechanized running events will undoubtedly be among the most
fascinating at the Games. They will celebrate the evolution of extensions
of the physical form. The new millennium will undoubtedly see the advent of
the mechanized athlete and in keeping with its aim of working at the
cutting edge of sport, the Fringe Games will celebrate new ways of
improving human locomotion with several freestyle mechanized running events
- competitions between mechanically-assisted athletes as opposed to
Up until now we have almost exclusively used mechanical prosthetic devices
to aid those who are physically disadvantaged in some way. However, in
tomorrow's world we are likely to see the use of this technology applied to
everyone - enabling us to run faster by increasing efficiency.
The aim of tomorrow's techno athlete will be to harness the latest advances
in mechanical technology in order to significantly improve the speed and
endurance of the human body. The mechanized runner will use super-strong,
ultra-light support structures and advanced hydraulic engineering to create
prosthetic devices that will attach to the leg and enable him or her to
maximize the power of their own muscles. The working drawing shows an
Australian prototype of an unequal length, linkage suspension system,
designed to give parallel compression along the axis of the shin bone, thus
enabling the runner to reuse the compression energy of the take-off stride.
The height of the device also allows for increased stride length which will
improve forward speed without the normal increase in energy output.
The Fringe Games in Christchurch next year is about innovation in sport,
and, by including competition for some forms of mechanized athletics, it is
hoped that the Games will become a catalyst for the development of new ways
of moving human beings faster and more efficiently by non-engine mean, in
ways that do not damage the environment. The rules for mechanized running
devices preclude the use of wheels or revolving tracks which come in
contact with the ground, sails, or any means of stored energy propulsion.
Full requirements will be issued shortly.
A special platinum medal will be awarded to the design team or individual
credited with desiging the winning device.