For the first time ever an amputee will be competing in the Paralympics … and the Olympics!
Oscar Pistorius is a South African track star who is missing his legs from the knees down. He runs with special prosthetics and has been nicknamed “Blade Runner”.
Pistorius has many gold medals from the Paralympics — Olympics for athletes with physical disabilities. But his ultimate dream is to run in the Olympics. He was chosen first as a member of the 4 x 400m relay team. He was then added to his dream event, the 400m.
When he learned the news a few days ago he said, “Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life … thank you to everyone that has made me the athlete I am! God, family and friends, my competitors and supporters! You have all had a hand!”
It hasn’t been an easy road for Pistorius by any means. He was born without the bones that run from his knees to his ankles (fibula) and had his legs amputated before his first birthday. And since showing a talent for running, he has spent much of his time making the case that he should be allowed to run alongside able-bodied runners.
Some have claimed that it isn’t a fair race and that he may even have an unfair advantage.
One of his qualifying times for the Olympics missed by just a quarter of a second though his others were fast enough. Officials added him to the individual 400m event saying, “Since he’s going to be there (in London), our decision is he can run both, there’s no reason why he can’t,” Olympic committee executive, Tubby Reddy, told the Assoicated Press.
The controversy will remain and he’s not considered likely to win a gold medal at the Olympics, but it’s an incredible achievement for someone who was told as a child that he may never be able to walk or play sports.
In all of this Pistorius has maintained, “You are not disabled by the disabilities you have. You are able by the abilities you have.”
To read HTE’s previous story on Oscar Pistorius, click here .
To see video of Oscar Pistorius running, you can click here to be taken to his website .