A comparison of Olympic and Paralympic performances / David F. Percy

Percy, David F.

In 2012, Oscar Pistorius created history as the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics. Other athletes achieved amazing feats long before the Paralympics were introduced, including gymnast George Eyser who won six medals at the 1904 Olympics with a wooden leg, and others who competed in both Games. An exciting challenge of considerable interest is to compare performances of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, so contributing to improving integration of the two competitions. The study generalises the recent dynamic shrinkage method for class handicapping and apply it to competition results from equestrian individual dressage at the London 2012 Summer Games and cross country skiing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. The analysis generates promising results and surprising revelations. It also offers a fair method for comparing performances by athletes from other diverse groups, with potential benefits of extra incentive and reward systems for motivating unified sporting participation in general settings.

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