27 August, 2011

South African amputee creating World Championship history:

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HIGH HOPES:  Oscar Pistorious
              The man known as the  "Blade Runner";  Oscar Pistorious will become the first parolympian to run against able bodied athletes in a major championships.  The man on no legs is second only to the fastest man on two legs (Usain Bolt) in terms of curiosity value.  
              The South African 400m has endured rigorous testing to ensure that his false  "legs"  give him no competitive advantage over able bodied runners and he is ranked 17th in the world this year in his event.   Says the man himself:  "My mother used to always say when we woke up in the morning:  'Your brother puts on his shoes, you put on your legs, ye both go running and that's the last she wants to hear about it.'   That attitude is why I never viewed myself as any different." 
              His running legs cost about $3,000 per set and are about half the price of the feet he walks around on each day.  Although his running legs are made of carbon fibre;  they are actually quite low-tech.  The stumps are custom made because the stump of everybody's legs are different.  Pistorious wears a socck inside the leg because he has lost weight in recent months.  His coach has targetted a World Championship semi-final in Dageou this month.  
             Pistorious says that he doesn't view himself as a pioneer:  "There are a lot of parolympic athletes doing exactly what I'm doing.  They might not be doing it at an international or national standard but they're doing the best they can do."  The World Championships will be a learning curve for the 24 year old, who must meet the Olympic/Paralympic qualifying time between January and June next ahead of a possible Paralympic (or maybe even OLYMPIC) London 2012 medal.  That would be historic indeed.
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  1. very interesting. never have heard of this guy but will certainly be keeping an eye out for him in london should he make it.

  2. Good man Karl...thanks for th feedback boy.