• Sat, Aug 4 2012

Let’s Talk About How Awesome Double-Amputee And Olympic Runner Oscar Pistorius Is

This one time, I had shin splints and I used it as an excuse not to work out for the next three months. And then this other time, Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee who just made Olympics history by qualifying for the finals in the 400-meter. I know, you guys, I’ve overcome a lot of adversity to be sitting where I am today writing about other people doing fancy things, but let’s talk about Oscar Pistorius for a little bit, just to be nice.

No but seriously, come on, world. I’m an emotional person, you can’t hit me with these kinds of heart-warming, inspiring stories before noon on the weekend or I’ll be weeping. I was once asked if I cry when I’m doing long division and there’s a remainder, so what are you doing to me, Oscar Pistorius? This guy is out-of-control inspiring. He was born without fibulas, necessitating a below-the-knee amputation of his legs before he was a year old, so he’s lived his whole life without legs. There are a lot of people who could overcome that and have a happy, fruitful life. There are also a lot who would choose not to overcome that setback, instead using it to define them and excuse their giving up on life. I honestly don’t know where I’d fall in that mix. I have a feeling I’d be stuck feeling resentful, like I’d been done an injustice. I know for certain that I wouldn’t become an Olympic runner.

But Oscar did. He’s a 25-year old native of South Africa who runs on carbon fiber blades and he came in second in his qualifying heat for the finals in the 400-meter on Sunday night. He’s got an amazing attitude, a supportive family, and a drive for success that blows my mind. He already had four gold medals from the Paralympics, but he petitioned to be allowed to compete in London because he wanted to see how he stacked up against able-bodied runners. He had to convince dozens of people on multiple boards that having blades instead of legs wasn’t an advantage…which I guess I can sort of understand in theory, but come on, people, he doesn’t have legs and he’s as fast as Olympic runners who do. Can’t we just acknowledge that he’s the superpower, not the blades? For reals.

Even though he’s not expected to medal, he’s made history, he’s in the finals, and he started his qualifying race with a smile on his face. And I’m pretty sure that’s the real victory, here.

(Image: HRC / WENN.com)

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  • playyourpart

    Pains me to say it, but he should not be running in the normal Olympics. All his competitors have to deal with sore feet, tired calves, etc. While I know he must have his own issues wearing prosthesis, we cannot compare his performance to able-bodied competitors. We cannot truly assess if he has an unfair advantage. Is he taller now then before his amputation? What level of mechanical spring force does his blade feet give him, and is it greater than human feet? How could we know? Is his stride longer now that he uses prosthetic legs? He is an amazing individual, but this is not “human” athleticism, this is technologically improved performance. Maybe its not a popular position, but the olympics should be about human performance, not technology. That’s why they outlawed frictionless suits in swimming for example. Oscar is an AMAZING individual, but, I’m sad so say it, should not be competing in London. Yet another bad IOC call during these 2012 games.

  • Nicky

    While his drive, ambition and spirit are without a doubt hugely inspirational, the arguments that he has an advantage due to his carbon fibre blades is 100% valid as proved by one of South Africa’s most esteemed sports scientists, Ross Tucker.

    http://www.sportsscientists.com/2011/08/scientific-interpretation-of-oscar.html

  • Renee

    …plus he’s absolutely gorgeous

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