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Friday, February 15, 2013

Oscar Pistorius, blade runner arrested charged with murder


There are some with disabilities and there are some who with their disability have challenged the far-abled…. Oscar is all about glitz and glamour – unfortunately, this Oscar is not shining now !  heard of ‘flex-foot Cheetah’ !!

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius, simply Oscar Pistorius   is better known as ‘blade-runner’ this South African sprinter has captured the attraction of World with his achievements on the tracks, born in 1986 is a double amputee [below the knee in both lega].  Mr. Pistorius, who was born without fibulas, had both legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday, and he battled for many years to compete against able-bodied athletes. In 2007, Pistorius took part in his first international competitions for able-bodied athletes; and instead of appreciating some questioned the unfair advantage he might have from his  prostheses.  Clearly this man had shaken the sprinters by then.   At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics Championships 2011 World Championships, he participated in the 400 metres sprint and the 4 × 400 metres relay. As part of South Africa's silver medal winning relay team, he became the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal although he was not selected for the final.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics when he entered the men's 400 metres race and was part of South Africa's 4 × 400 metres relay team. He won gold medals in the men's 400 metre race in a Paralympic record time of 46.68 seconds and in the 4 × 100 metres relay in a world record time of 41.78 seconds. He also took a silver in the 200 metres race, having set a world record of 21.30 seconds in the semifinal.

Now he is news for wrong reasons; on 14th February 2013, Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead at his home in Pretoria in the early hours of that morning. Reeva, a  platinum-haired model was a  regular glamorous young fixture on the South African celebrity scene.

Many could not believe the presence of police at the gated community in Pretoria where Pistorius lived but before the day, he was arrested charged of murder with the beauty lying dead at his house dead from multiple gunshot wounds.  The development stunned a nation that had elevated Mr. Pistorius to the status of a national sporting hero, an emblem of the ability to overcome acute adversity and a symbol of South Africa’s ability to project achievements onto the world stage. Mr. Pistorius was arrested on Thursday and taken to a Pretoria jail, where he will spend the night in anticipation of a bail hearing to be held Friday morning. The police have said that they plan to oppose bail in the case. Even in an era that has seen idolized sports heroes fall from grace at a rapid clip, Pistorius’s arrest stood out for the severity of the charges, the unique hardships he had overcome and the outsized triumphs he has won, not just against other disabled athletes but against able-bodied ones as well.

His arrest is a stark reminder of the violence that permeates South Africa, where fear of armed robberies and carjackings prompt the wealthy to take refuge in heavily guarded gated compounds and arm themselves with handguns.  Those who love him so dearly still state that it would have been a case of shooting by mistake.  Those who know Reeva, said they were in tears for she was an absolute angel, the sweetest, sweetest human being, a kind human being.

Sad that a man who had disability stalking right from birth, rose to great heights with great achievements making him a "living legend" is now behind the bars.  

The Flex-Foot Cheetah is a prosthetic human foot replacement developed by medical engineer Van Phillips, who had lost a leg below the knee at age 21; the deficiencies of existing prostheses led him to invent this new prosthesis. The Flex-Foot Cheetah and similar models were worn by Oscar Pistorius and other amputee athletes in the Paralympics and elsewhere. It is made from carbon fibre, and unlike all previous foot prostheses, it stores kinetic energy from the wearer's steps as potential energy, like a spring, allowing the wearer to run and jump.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Feb 2013.
Photos courtesy : www.dailymail.co.uk

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