There have been several big stories leading up to this year summer Olympics, and there will be hundreds of talented athletes to keep an eye on for sure. Besides the handful of American known athletes, Jamaica Usain Bolt may steal the headlines, but there is a South African athlete that has gained the worlds attention, but it comes with controversy. Oscar Pistorius the 25 year old South African Amputee sprinter has battled tough challenges all his life, and it finally looks like he has reached one of his Ultimate goals of becoming an Olympian. At just 11 months old Pistorius had to get his legs amputated halfway between his knee and ankles due to the lack of fibula in both legs. Since then Pistorius has been living a movie style life, with moments of great sorrow and moments of true jubilation.
Even though he is an amputee it never stopped him from playing sports, from age 11 to 13 he actually played rugby for Pretoria Boys High School in South Africa. However it was here where he suffered a gruesome injury when he shattered his knee and was out of sports completely for three months. Within those three months is when he developed a passion for running as he was in rehabilitation jogging and running almost everyday. In January of 2004 it appeared Pistorius had a natural ability to compete, and a remarkable amount of speed when running. At his high school he ran the 100 meter dash in 11.72 seconds which was faster than the paralympic world record of 12.20 seconds according to Oscar Pistorius timeline.
In June of 2004 is where Pistorius really started dedicating himself to track, and assuring he could compete to the best of his ability, as he traveled to the United States to try the Flex-Foot Cheetahs for the first time. Pistorius would find great comfort with these as they are now the stable of his running, and at the same time the topic for controversy, none the less Pistorius started to get faster, and began winning multiple races. By September of 2004 Pistorious was not only competing great at meets, he was beating his competition handily and actually broke the Paralympic 200 meter dash record.
He finally got the chance to challenge himself even more when he competed against able body athletes in early 2005, and late 2007. His best finish was sixth in the 400 meter dash, but his running against able body athletes stirred up conversation among the International Association of Athletics Federations(IAAF). In December of 2007 Pistorius received a letter from the IAAF telling him they believe he is running at an advantage compared to able body runners, Pistorius denied the speculations and told them it was unfair and bias to believe that. At that time his words and actions were not enough to change the IAAF decision they made in 2008 which was banning him from able body competitions.
Their decision to ban him did not last that long as months later they found no evidence to say Pistorius was running at a advantage. Fast forward four years and Pistorius started to peak in his track form and was running some of his fastest times he ever ran. He captured three gold medals in the 200,400, 4×400 relay at the world championships in New Zealand which he became the first paralympic athlete to win a gold medal in a world championship.
All of this lead up to this year Olympic trials, in South Africa Pistorius made the Nations 4×400 relay team, and as of Wednesday July 4 he made the team as a 400 runner, despite him missing the qualifying mark by less than a quarter of a second according to Fox.
“To have been selected to represent Team South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games is a real honor and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together,” Pistorius said
“I have a phenomenal team behind me,” Pistorius said.
Pistorius does have at least one regulation set for him when he gets to London. The Olympic committee told the South African track and field coach as well as Pistorius, that he must run first leg in the 4×400 relay to not cause any possible injuries during hand-offs during the three other legs.
That does not seem to be stopping how the South African Olympic president is viewing his goal minded approach to the Olympics though
”As I have said many times before, we are not taking passengers to London,” Gideon Sam said.
Make sure to tune into the Olympic action which kicks off on July 27.
Blade Runner Gets Set to Make Olympics Debut
South Africa’s Oscar Pistorious will make history at the 2012 Olympics in London. He’s the first double-amputee to compete in track at a regular Olympics. He runs on carbon fiber “legs,” and Len Berman says not everyone thinks it’s fair.
Oscar Pistorius on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games
Oscar Pistorius speaks about the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
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