Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oscar Pistorius gets a double thumbs up!!

Oscar Pistorius, was born with congenital absence of fibula in both legs. The bones Fibula and Tibia are the bones which are just below the knee. The fibula is the bone which balances the weight of the body. No fibula means, the person cannot stand on his legs.

At 11 months as a child, Oscar got both his legs amputated halfway between the knee and ankle. At the age of 11-13, he played rugby, water polo and tennis, with artificial legs. After a serious injury during on of the rugby games, he was introduced to running by Jan 2004, during the rehabilitation. The famous line he always says is- "You're not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.", which has been his motto.

Known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs", took part in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and came third overall in the T44 (one leg amputated below the knee) 100-metre event. Despite falling in the preliminary round for the 200 metres, he qualified for the final. He went on to win the final with a world record time of 21.97 seconds, beating single amputee American runners Marlon Shirley and Brian Frasure.

Phew! quiet some information. I was quiet blown away by the way Oscar came back in an event at Roma on 13th July, 2007. It was a 400 m race with able bodied athletes. He started the race and soon he was the last one running. I cannot believe the last 100 m which he covered. He finished 2nd in the event. Mind blowing feat!! Have a look at this video from youtube. Even you will be swept away.

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius won an appeal and will compete to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
The 400m runner was barred from all competitions involving able-bodied athletes because of claims that the artificial legs he uses give him an unfair advantage. The 21-year-old, who runs on specially adapted carbon fibre blades, saw the ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) overturned by the Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS).

“Today, I can pursue my dream of competing in the Olympic Games. If it’s not for Beijing, it will be for London in 2012,” said the South African, nicknamed ‘Bladerunner’.

The South African runner still has an uphill battle. His personal best time for the 400 meter is 46.46 seconds. To qualify for the Olympic team, he must beat 45.95 seconds.

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