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From Paralympics to the Olympics: Double Amputee South African Athlete, Oscar Pistorius Inspires the World at the London 2012 Olympics!

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“You are not disabled by the disabilities you have. You are able by the abilities you have.” – Oscar Pistorius

The London 2012 Olympics boasts of a wealth of inspiring athletes whose stories of courage and determination continue to inspire.

25 year-old Oscar Pistorius whose record as the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics and the first athlete to compete at both the Paralympics and Olympics games is nothing short of inspiring.

The sprinter from South Africa made his debut at the Olympics this year and his presence at the Olympics was not only an inspiration to thousands of people living with disabilities around the world but also able-bodied people who have been encouraged by him.

He had his lower legs amputated as a baby after he was born without either fibula. According to his website, Pistorius took up running to bounce back from a rugby injury at the advice of his doctor when he was 16. The next year, he competed in his first Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004 and won a gold medal in the T44 200-meter race, breaking an existing world record.

His achievements in sports has garnered him worldwide recognition. He was one of the Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and is the 2012 Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.

The man who is popularly called “The Blade Runner,” and “The fastest man with no legs” has  grown into one of the world’s fastest 400-meter runners.

Last Saturday, he ran on his prosthetic legs Flex-Foot Cheetahs in the first heat of the men’s 400-meter race, qualifying for the semifinal round. However, he did not qualify for the finals after running at the Semi-Finals but he is not out of the games yet. Pistorius is still expected to run the 4×400 relays, which starts on Thursday.

Pistorius had a challenging journey to qualifying for the Olympics. The IAAF, the world governing body for athletics, ruled him ineligible for competition in 2008, but the Court of Arbitration for Sports unanimously overturned that ruling a few months later. He attempted to qualify for the Beijing Games that summer, but came up short in the 400 and was not selected for South Africa’s 4×400-meter relay team. He did, however, win gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races at the Beijing Paralympics, adding to a pair of medals he won in Athens.

Pistorius would compete in the Paralympc games coming up soon after the Olympic games in London.

His goal at the Olympics is to prove that Paralympic athletes are just as inspiring as able-bodied athletes and he has done just that. “At the end of the day, if I can show people that Paralympic athletes are just as inspiring as professional able-bodied athletes that would be great,” he told NBC.

We celebrate his doggedness in the face of obstacles and indeed, we are truly inspired.

Photo Credit: Washington Post | NBC | Getty Images

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

23 Comments

  1. Theodora

    August 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    The guy is just something else……..turly an inspiration. wish you all the very best

  2. Hurpeyeahmie

    August 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    This is mind blowing am proud of you man

  3. N

    August 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    so what is my excuse now?? #ThinkingOutLoud hmmmm

    • Thelma

      August 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      exactly what i was thinking….The determination some pple have eh? its awesome

  4. Pendo

    August 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he truly is inspiring

  5. Chattyzee

    August 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  6. purplepearl

    August 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    WOW. I think i seriously need to wake up

  7. R

    August 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    truly inspiring!

  8. Jill Rubin

    August 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    It isn’t acceptable to introduce and repeatedly refer to Oscar Pistorius, a world class athlete and Olympic runner, as “the double amputee”. People first language aims to avoid dehumanizing people with disabilities and focuses on the person, not the disability. Pistorius is “the South African runner with bilateral amputations”. He is clearly not defined by his disability as the commentators have defined him. He is defined by his body of work, his outstanding performance and the country he represents and should be introduced in this way.

  9. habba!

    August 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    lowkey tho he is handsome!!! i would date him

  10. Show some love

    August 9, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Wow. so inspiring

  11. flory

    August 9, 2012 at 8:17 am

    This is inspiring,we can do anything ,if we believe

  12. uniquelyisi

    August 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Truly inspiring…

  13. Nkelly

    August 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Really inspiring to all of us, what excuse do we have not to move on in life? If he can, then who am i?

  14. ooooyesshedid!

    August 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    live this guy with all of my heart, Godbless him real good

  15. Eugenia

    August 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    great courage….so amazing.

  16. Gold

    August 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    What an inspiration to us all!! I’ve got NO EXCUSE not to live my dreams

  17. Oma

    August 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    He is such an inspiration. Great CAN DO attitude.
    http://lifethroughomaseyes.blogspot.com

  18. benny

    August 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I DON’T AVE AN EXCUSE, anymore

  19. fifi

    August 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    very inspiring…he is truly a blessing!!

  20. cathy

    August 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    COURAGE!

  21. iamfascinating

    August 10, 2012 at 1:38 am

    think it, work relentlessly for it, definitely achieve it!!! Awesome.

    http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

  22. Princess of Zion

    August 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    WOW! Inspirational! Keep on Oscar! Never let your dream die! God bless you

    http://www.princessofzion.wordpress.com

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