Oscar Pistorius was by far the most inspirational story of the 2012 London Games. The double amputee made it to the semifinals of the 400-meter race before being eliminated with an eighth-place finish. Despite the result, Pistorius and his fans would call these Olympics a win.
The "Blade Runner" has been a controversial topic for several years. In 2008, Pistorius won an appeal that allowed him to compete for a spot in the Beijing Olympics after he was banned from competing in able-bodied events at the beginning of the year. However, he did not qualify for the South African team.
But while competing in the London Games was a major accomplishment for Pistorius, reaching the semifinals shows that he isn't just a feel-good story. He will prove that by contending in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Though Pistorius ran the second-worst time out of the 24 semifinalists, his time was well below his personal average. The 46.54 that landed him in eighth was over a full second worse than even his first-round time of 45.44 seconds. His career best is 45.07, which would have put him 10th in the semifinals and .08 seconds from qualifying for the 400m final.
According to the Associated Press (via the Huffington Post), Pistorius is optimistic about his chances in 2016: "In 2016, I'll probably be at my peak in Rio. I'm looking forward to that more than anything," he said. "I believe next year we'll definitely get under 45."
A sub-45 second time would put him in an elite group as one of the world's best 400m runners. This is incredible when taking into account that he has a disadvantage at the starting blocks.
"I don't have ankle articulation so the start is always going to be one of my biggest down-points in the race," he said. "It's just one of those things that I have to work on, and be as efficient at top speed as I possibly can."
Pistorius finished dead last in reaction time out of the 24 semifinalists. If he can find a way to improve on that and continue to shed time off his personal best, Blade Runner could be running in the final at Rio 2016.