8 August 2012

Oscar Pistorius – Olympic hero

Oscar Pistorius may not have won his 400 metre race at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, but he did win the hearts of many across the world.

Athlete, Oscar Pistorius Oscar Pistorius, aka 'Blade Runner'

I’d just like to thank everyone who has been supportive, tonight’s Olympic semi-final was a dream come true for me! I am truly blessed! Oscar Pistorius, via Twitter.

Oscar Pistorius epitomises the spirit of the Olympic Games. His tenacious spirit, his positive attitude and his incredible approach to sportsmanship will certainly remain as 1 of the highlights of the London 2012 Olympics.

Pistorius, also known as ‘Blade Runner’ because of his prosthetic limbs - is the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, and although he finished last in the 400 metre semi-final on August 5 2012, he has provided inspiration to many athletes across the globe.

Pistorius achieved 8th place, in a time of 46.54 seconds and his efforts on the track had the crowds on their feet. The reigning world champion, Kirani James - who won the heat - swopped bibs after the race with Pistorius in a moving display of respect and sportsmanship.

James told the media, ‘He [Pistorius] is an inspiration to all of us. He’s very special to our sport. He’s a great individual. It’s time we see him like that and not anything else.’

The social media networks had their day, with congratulations pouring in from all over the world. Piers Morgan, Samuel L Jackson and a host of celebrities (many he has never met) tweeted their wishes of congratulations.

Pistorius was quick to give thanks, and he tweeted soon after the race: ‘I’d just like to thank everyone who has been supportive, tonight’s Olympic semi-final was a dream come true for me! I am truly blessed!’

This incredible athlete also made the front of the New York Times, the LA Times and countless local newspapers who lauded his fighting spirit and sense of humour.

Perhaps the headline for the LA Times sums up Pretorius best: ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius has an edge all right – his spirit.’