Humanity has never ceased to amaze with its plethora of inventions and advancements throughout time. But it seems as if these great achievements now pale in comparison to what’s currently possible.
Just ask Oscar Pistorius, a South African sprinter with a double amputation and an undeniable will to succeed. He never quit, never settled and never gave up.
With the help of Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fiber transtibial artificial limbs, the man who was born with congenital absence of the fibula in both legs (amputated when he was 11 months old) has found the ability to compete athletically, defying all odds.
Pistorius has been called “Blade Runner” and the fastest man on no legs, but more importantly, he has set a standard for those with physical disabilities. His motto defines his nature: “You're not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”
Those who doubt their abilities or lack the will to achieve greatness need look no further than Pistorius, who has proven that any dream and any goal can be achieved with mastering and believing in oneself.
The act of competition is just as much mental as it is physical, requiring passion and desire. Pistorius knew he could soar, and he did. He proved to us that believing in success is most of the battle.
Sure, he is a record holder in the 100, 200 and 400-meter Paralympic events, but it was Pistorius’ participation in the able-bodied competitions in 2007 that inspired peers and fans worldwide.
Rumblings regarding an unfair advantage over his competitors began to surface, especially after the International Association of Athletics Federations 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."
After studying his races and completing several tests, scientists decided that he did in fact have a significant advantage over able-bodied athletes. Pistorius was therefore ineligible for the 2008 Olympics.
But shortly after, the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed the decision, allowing the determined sprinter to compete yet again.
A promising future was put on hold when Pistorius failed to qualify and was not chosen by the South African Olympic Committee. But it was only a matter of time before the sprinter found his groove.
With a 400-meter time of 45.07 in July of 2011, Pistorius met the qualifying standard for the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. It was a feeling few can imagine, a quest few have traveled. But it represented the transformation of society, a brilliant individual effort.
He was eliminated in the semifinal of the 400-meter sprint at last year's world championship. But more importantly, he was a part of South Africa's silver medal-winning relay team.
Inspirational, glory-filled and historic was Oscar Pistorius' road to greatness. He is the the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal, and his journey has only just begun.
Presented by MetLife. I Can Do This.
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