Oscar Pistorius: Inspirational Track and Field Star Advances in 400-Meter Dash

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Oscar Pistorius of South Africa competes in the Men's 400m Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Inspirational South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius advanced to the 400-meter dash semifinals with a time of 45.44 seconds.

While he likely won’t medal in the final, the fact that the double-amputee even raced in the Olympics is a heartwarming story of determination and triumph.

Doctors told Pistorius’ parents that they would have to remove both of his legs as a child, and the fact that he has become an Olympic sprinter makes him the perfect role model for his ability to persevere.

Some people have questioned the legality of Pistorius performing at the Olympic level, and the South African sprinter defended his right to enter the Olympics to ESPN:

In track and field you use shoes that are constantly developing, you use poles, you use so many pieces of apparatus. My prosthetics are not a customized device. The facts are this type of prosthetic leg has been used long before I was around and is still being used by other Paralympic athletes. If it was as much a technologically advanced piece of equipment that many people claim it is, then why isn't everyone running even close to the times I'm running?

Despite coming in second in his 400 heat, Pistorius will likely not have the speed needed to win a medal in the event’s semifinals.

The young star still has a chance to medal with the South African 4x400-meter relay team that came in second at last year’s World Championships. Pistorius did not run in that race, though.

The amount of attention Pistorius is receiving will prove to be an inspiration to those with any sort of disability. He is a star, and he is thriving at the highest-possible level.

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The stories behind Olympians like Pistorius have made the 2012 London Olympics all the more entertaining.

Check back for more on the 2012 Summer Olympics as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s Olympic page.

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