U.S.A. on Road to Amputee-Sports Glory

The New York Times reports on the development of a new, potentially world-class American sprinter: Jerrod Fields, who lost his left foot and lower leg to an IED in Baghdad.

Four years after taking his first tentative steps on a prosthetic foot, Fields now sprints so fast that he is considered a top United States prospect for the 2012 Paralympic Games - someone who just might knock off Oscar Pistorius of South Africa.

According to the story, Fields originally wanted his mangled leg amputated so he could get back to Iraq sooner. Just before redeployment, he accepted reassignment to the active-duty World Class Athlete Program. This is one carbon-fiber-blade-footed step toward Paralympics success for the U.S., which got buried by China and even Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing medal count.

Photo: Librado Romero/The New York Times