South Africa’s Blade Runner Makes Olympic History

Posted July 4th, 2012 at 2:05 pm (UTC-4)

Oscar Pistorius at London’s Olympic Stadium

Calling it one of the proudest days of his life, Oscar Pistorius was selected Wednesday for South Africa’s Olympic team for the upcoming London Games. The 25-year-old Pistorius, nicknamed “The Blade Runner” for his carbon fiber, artificial legs, will become the first amputee to compete in an Olympic track event. South Africa’s Olympic Committee says Pistorius will run in the individual men’s 400 meters event and the 4X400-meter relay competition.

Pistorius won a silver medal at last week’s African Championships in Benin, where he clocked 45.52 seconds in the 400 meters. His time was just

Oscar Pistorius at 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea

outside the official Olympic “A” qualification standard of 45.30 seconds. However, Pistorius met the Olympic qualifying standard in March, and South African Olympic officials decided to waive their requirement of meeting the qualifying mark twice in international competition.

Pistorius has not always been welcomed to compete against able-bodied athletes. Some critics say his carbon fiber blades, known as “Cheetahs,” give him an unfair advantage. Early in 2008, the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled the blades could not be used in IAAF competitions. Pistorius appealed the decision and took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled in his favor.

The South African athlete will be very busy in the British capital. Pistorius says he’s also extremely excited about the Paralympic Games in London, which begin August 29th, 17 days after the Olympics end. He will be defending his Paralympic titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters, and Pistorius says he will also be part of the South African team competing for a world record in the 4X100-meter relay.

Pistorius’s sporting motto is: “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.” And those abilities will be on full display at both the 2012 Olympics and the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

6 responses to “South Africa’s Blade Runner Makes Olympic History”

  1. Samuel Enuani says:

    A good news for Africa and people of south africa to have some body to compete with the rest of the world in the olympic game. I wish u all the best

  2. […] Olympic TeamNew York TimesDouble amputee Oscar Pistorius will run in Olympic 400mCBC.caSouth Africa's Blade Runner Makes Olympic HistoryVoice of America (blog)CNN -SI.comall 802 news […]

  3. […] VOA: South Africa’s Blade Runner Makes Olympic History – The London 2012 Olympics will feature its first amputee to compete in a track event, South African star Oscar Pistorius, following his win in last week’s African Championships. It is speculated that his prosthetic blades will spark international discussion over unfair advantage. […]

  4. […] American-Statesman'Blade Runner' blazes new trail to Olympics The Register-Guard CNN  – Voice of America (blog)  – The Takeawayall 1,004 news […]

  5. […] ReviewAmputee runner makes Olympic team Austin American-Statesman The Register-Guard  – Voice of America (blog)  – CNNall 1,013 news […]

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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