With man and machine fused together, there is no limit to human achievement.
Image: D’Arc. Studio Associates Architects/Cybathlon
Technology has been improving human performance for centuries but, in the world of sport at least, “technology doping” is an ethically grey area.
How far can athletes go in perfecting swimsuits and running shoes before the olympics becomes a contest of technological investment rather than a battle of human strength? We already see this problem in paraolympics, where prosthetics and other performance enhancing devices are regularly used.
But why should we hold ourselves back? That is the logic behind the Cybathlon, the world's first bionic olympics, which will be hosted in Zurich, Switzerland in 2016. In this olympics powerful biotech is not only permitted, it is an integral part of each sport.
The event will be sponsored by the Swiss National Competence Center of Research in Robotics, who aim to prompt leaps in biotechnology through the competition.
The sports planned will be pretty incredible to watch. There will be a racing game for quadriplegics that use mind-controlled avatars, a powered leg prosthetics race and a full exoskeleton race (think Iron Man!).