Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 00:05 AM EDT, 11 September 2012
LONDON, England – South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, also known as the ‘Blade Runner,’ races wearing carbon fiber prosthetic blades because he was born without a fibula in both legs which were amputated before he was a year old.
Pistorius is the first Paralympian to compete in the Olympics against able-bodied athletes. This double amputee inspired spectators, fellow Olympians, and Paralympians with his outstanding sports prowess at the 2012 London Olympics.
Controversy surrounding his use of the carbon fiber prosthetic blades and the potential advantage they may afford him against able-bodied runners was resolved in advance of his participation in the games though some remained unconvinced.
Pistorius, who is also known as ‘the fastest man on no legs’ brushed off any criticism and focused his attention on the games, and amazingly qualified for the 400 semi-finals though he did not make the finals.
On Saturday, 8 September 2012, Pistorius subsequently competed and won the final Paralympic Games’ track gold medal in the men’s 400 meters as well as a gold medal in the 4×100 relay. This despite coming up short in his bid to defend the 100 and 200 titles he won in Beijing four years ago.
The Paralympics was the second-largest multi-sport event ever held in the United Kingdom after the 2012 Summer Olympics, and were the largest and most commercially successful Paralympics ever; 4,294 athletes from 164 National Paralympic Committees participated. The London Olympic Games contributed to significantly higher demand for tickets than ever before, breaking numerous sales records. (Source: Wikipedia)
London’s success in hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics also benefited the Paralympic sports by elevating global awareness and public enthusiasm for these inspirational games and the phenomenal participants who overcome significant life challenges to compete at the highest levels attainable by athletes from around the world.
“I’m so proud, this summer has been a dream come true and I couldn’t hope for anything better. It’s my 11th time on this track and I wanted to give the crowd something special that they could take home with them.” (Source: Reuters)
- Pistorius is still king (iol.co.za)
- Oscar Pistorius Makes Olympics History, Reaches Men’s 400-Meter Semifinals (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- National Sport: Pistorius storms to 400m gold (coventrytelegraph.net)