Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Oscar Pistorius: From Triumph to Uncertainty

             Nicknamed "Blade Runner", "the fastest man on no legs", the story of a South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius was inspirational, motivating and attracted worldwide admiration. 

          He was born with fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs, which were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles when he was 11 months old, but he's renowned for having competed in global events for single below-knee amputees and for able-bodied athletes since he was a teen.

    He attended Constantia Kloof Primary School and Pretoria Boys High School, where he played rugby union in the school's third XV team. He played water polo and tennis at provincial level between the ages of 11 and 13. In addition, Pistorius took part in club Olympic wrestling, and trained at Jannie Brooks's garage gym in Pretoria, South Africa.

        His accomplishments include: In the Paralympic Games - Bronze 2004 Athens 100 m (T44), Gold 2004 Athens 200 m (T44) Gold 2008 Beijing 100 m (T44) Gold 2008 Beijing 200 m (T44) Gold 2008 Beijing 400 m (T44) Silver 2012 London 200 m (T44) Gold 2012 London 400 m (T44) Gold 2012 London 4 × 100 m relay (T42–T46). When asked by a journalist for his "sporting motto", he said: "You're not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have".

              In February 2013, Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. At his trial in 2014 he was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of culpable homicide and one firearm-related charge, of reckless endangerment related to discharging a firearm in a restaurant. Pistorius was found not guilty of two firearm-related charges relating to illegal possession of ammunition and firing a firearm through the sunroof of a car. 

         On 21st October 2014, Judge Thokozile Masipa gave Pistorius a five year jail sentence. Pistorious was definitely admired for his determination and passion by many people worldwide, I included, and encouraged for his landmark athleticism. We sincerely hope to see the best come out of all these. Condolences once again to Reeva Steenkamp's family and may God continuously strengthen them.


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