OSCAR PISTORIUS- Pride of South Africa.
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Born without the fibula bone in both legs, Oscar Pistorius was only 11 months old when his parents made the heart-wrenching decision to have his limbs amputated below the knee. He says he never really knew anything different. As a child he announced to his father that one day he would play in the Super 8 rugby event, and this would characterise his future approach to life. He did indeed play rugby, water polo and tennis player as a schoolboy.
Then in January 2004, Pistorius shattered his right knee on the rugby field. Doctors recommended he switch to track. At age 17, he ran the 100m in an open competition at the Pilditch stadium in his hometown of Pretoria after training for only two months. He ran it in 11.51 seconds: The world record was 12.2.
A mere eight months later, Pistorius raced alongside Marlon Shirley and Brian Frasure at the 2004 Paralympics Games in Athens. Creating a sensation in the athletics world, he took the silver medal behind Shirley in the 100m. He also won gold in the 200m, breaking the world record with a time of 21.97 seconds. This made him the first amputee ever to run the 200m in under 22 seconds. He went home with four world records and the determination to do it again.
At the South African Championships in March 2005, Pistorius ran the 400m in the Open/Able-Bodied category and achieved 6th place in the final competition. That same year, he also won the gold in both the 100m and 200m while representing South Africa in the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, England. Subsequently, the IAAF invited him to run in a Grand Prix meeting in Helsinki and at the World Championship in Manchester, making him the first disabled athlete ever invited to such events; a huge honour. Oscar runs with Ossur’s Cheetah Flex-Foot running legs which he calls his blades , hence his nickname “Blade Runner.”