Oscar Pistorius: Good Guy Turned Bad

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Grace Hall, Writer

Oscar Pistorius was just a normal guy in South Africa except for the fact that he was missing his legs. Oscars’ feet were both amputated when he was 11 months old due to a congenital defect. He was born missing the outside of both feet and both fibulae.

 

This didn’t stop him from chasing after his dreams though because after he got his artificial legs he discovered that he loved to run. He picked up the sport at the age of 16 and within a few months, he had captured gold at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. 

 

Following his win in Athens, Pistorius competed in several races in South Africa against able-bodied athletes. Success brought him greater attention, and European race organizers were soon inviting Pistorius to their events.

 

Then there became some trouble. In 2007, the International Association of Athletic Foundations (IAAF) banned Pistorius from competing. They stated that because he had artificial legs, his legs couldn’t get tired giving him an unfair advantage over able body competitors. Oscar disagreed and immediately had the decision appealed in May of 2008.

 

Oscar had just missed the cut off for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He kept up his training to get ready for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. All of this training had earned him the nicknames, “Blade Runner” and “The Fastest Man on No Legs” after he had captured three gold medals at the 2011 IPC Athletic World Championships. Two more titles followed, in the 400-meter and 100-meter events at the BT Paralympics World Cup.

 

Finally, in Spring 2012, Oscar found out he qualified for the Olympics. He was eventually eliminated in the semi-final round but still got his place in the history books by becoming the first amputee to compete in track in the Olympics. Pistorius even said, “I found myself smiling on the starting blocks, which is very rare.”

 

In February 2013 Oscar’s name was in the papers for a different reason. He had been accused of murdering his girlfriend, South African model Reeva Steenkamp after she was found dead in their house with bullet wounds to the head and arm.

 

Five days after Stenkamps death, there was a trial where Oscar admitted to unintentionally shooting his girlfriend on valentine’s day. He stated that he thought she was an intruder and shot her through a locked bathroom door. Oscar was charged with a life sentence in prison after being found guilty.