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Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Will Be Remembered as Top Olympics 2012 Story

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 22:  Oscar Pistorius of South Africa on his way to victory in the men's T42/43/44 200m during day one of the BT Paralympic World Cup at Sportcity on May 22, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 27, 2012

No matter how many gold medals Michael Phelps wins, no matter how easily Team USA's men basketball squad wins gold, no Olympic story will trump that of the Blade Runner.

All good stories have to have drama, and this one is no exception.

South African Oscar Pistorius will be the first double amputee to appear in an Olympics, and the path there hasn't been without huge impediments. Pistorius has been without the lower portion of his legs (from the knee down) since he was 11 months old.

He was born without a fibula in either leg, but he has always been active in sports, per Who2.com.

Pistorius runs on carbon-fiber blades called Flex-Foot Cheetahs, and these devices add to the controversy and story surrounding him.

He took up sprinting as a teenager, and Who2 tells us that he first began running rehabbing a rugby injury. He took to the sport instantly, and he competed in the 2008 Paralympics.

Pistorius won gold in the 100, 200, 400 in Beijing. This year, the Blade Runner will compete in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, and that fact is newsworthy beyond the honor of representing ones country in the games.

Many opposed his inclusion in the Olympics against able-bodied athletes. It was said that the Flex-Foot Cheetahs gave Pistorius an unfair advantage.

Because the devices have a springy-quality to them, Pistorius was banned from competition against able-bodied athletes in the 2008 Olympics.

Later that year, he would win the right to compete at the 2008 games, through appeal, but he did not qualify. The perseverance that it took to stay prepared, and to stay focused for the past four years is remarkable.

The mountain that all Olympic athletes face is formidable. Pistorius has done it against unprecedented odds, and even detractors that didn't want to see him on this stage.

He is quoted in the New York Daily News:

There will always be people who will debate, and there will always be a journalist willing to write an opinion and a certain angle to a story,” Pistorius said. “There will always be someone who wants to create a name for himself, and if he's given that platform he'll take it and argue that wet is dry and green is red. There are always those types of people.

Not only did he have to endure being banned from competition, but he had to maintain the belief after not qualifying in 2008.

This Olympics has been a different story. Pistorius was the last South African runner to qualify, but he will compete in the men's 400 meters and the 4x400 meter relay.

Win or lose, medal or no medal. This is the most triumphant story of the games.

 

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