Oscar Pistorious – Inspirational and Some!

Our Olympic Quotations of the Day

7th August 2012

Oscar Pistorious in ActionOscar Pistorius made Olympic history by becoming the first double amputee to compete in an Olympic athletics event. And he went on to qualify for the 400m semi-finals in front of his 89-year-old grandmother. Oscar, as you can imagine, has a terrific attitude;

“You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are abled by the abilities you have.”

There has been a little controversy about his carbon fiber ‘Blades’;

“Every progression is because of the dedication and sacrifices I make. The artificial leg does not give me anything back and carbon fiber is a static material. It does not have a ‘spring’ that people have been misinformed about.”

And finally, some very wise words that Oscar learned from his mother;

“A loser isn’t the person that gets involved and comes last ……. it’s the person that doesn’t get involved in the first place”.

And let that be a reminder for all of us.

A Bit About Oscar Pistorious

Oscar Pistorious - InspirationalOscar Pistorius was born on the 22nd November 1986. He’s a South African sprint runner who’s come to be known as the “Blade Runner” and “the fastest man on no legs”. Oscar’s a double amputee and is the Paralympic World Record holder for class T44 in the 100m, 200m and 400m events.

He’s able to compete with the aid of Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre transtibial artificial limbs by Össur (that’s a bit of a mouthful). Although, he competes in the T44 class (single below knee amputees) events, Oscar’s actually classified in T43 (double below knee amputee).

In 2007, he took part in his first international competitions for able-bodied athletes. However, his artificial lower legs, while enabling him to compete, have generated claims that he has an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners.

In the same year, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) amended their competition rules and banned the use of “any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device”. The IAAF claimed that the amendment wasn’t aimed, specifically, at Oscar.

After monitoring his track performances and carrying out tests, scientists had taken the view that Oscar Pistorius enjoyed a considerable advantage over fellow athletes without prosthetic limbs. In January 2008, on the strength of these findings, the IAAF ruled him ineligible for competitions conducted under its rules. That included 2008 Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed this decision on the 16th May 2008, ruling that overall, there was no evidence that Oscar had any net advantage over able-bodied athletes.

Although this meant that he was eligible to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he failed to qualify for the South African team. In spite of the fact that he got third place and a personal best time of 46.25 seconds in the 400m event in Lucerne, his time fell short of the Olympic qualification time of 45.55 seconds. The South African Olympic Committee didn’t select him for the 4 × 400m relay team, either, as there were four other runners who’d achieved better times – And that’s as it should be.

He achieved considerable success at the 2008 Paralympics, taking the gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints (T44 class).

Oscar Pistorious Competing in the London OlympicsOn 19 July 2011, Oscar recorded a 400m time of 45.07 seconds and achieved the “A” qualifying standard for the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Summer Olympics.

At the World Championships, he took part in the 400m sprint and the 4 × 400m relay. With a time of 46.19 seconds, he was eliminated in the semi-final of the 400m sprint, finishing last.  However, as part of South Africa’s Silver Medal winning relay team, he became the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal, although, he wasn’t selected for the final.

Oscar Pistorius became the first double leg amputee ever to participate in the Olympic Games when he entered the men’s 400m race on 4th August 2012.

His achievements are a great credit to him and have been earned on merit.

I don’t know about you but I’ll always remember his excellent attitude epitomised by his quotation that was mentioned at the beginning of this post,

“You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are abled by the abilities you have.”

And on that note, have a great one,

Steve Bimpson

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