Commonly called the ‘Bladerunner’ because of his prosthetic carbon fibre limbs, Oscar Pistorius is set to make history by being the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.
Today it was announced by Team South Africa that Pistorius would be on the aqua and he was quick to reveal his delight at selection.
“To have been selected to represent Team South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay is a real honour and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together.”
In 2008, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned an IAAF ruling that he was at an unfair advantage against able-bodied competitors. After that, he participated in the individual 400m event at the 2011 World Championships but did not get past the semi-finals.
To qualify for the individual 400m for the South African team in the Olympics, he had to get under an ‘A’ standard on two different occasions.Having achieved it once he thought his dreams of running in the Olympics were over.
He thought he had received his last piece of good news when he was added to the South Africa relay team, but then even better news came through.
Pistorius ran in the qualifiers earlier this week and succeeded in obtaining another sub-par ‘A’ standard time. After having already told himself he was not going to run the individual 400m, the South Africa's Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee put him on the list to compete.
Pistorius was clearly proud when making the announcement to the press today, “I have run two Olympic ‘A’ standard times over the past twelve months and with the time I ran at the African Championships last week I know my speed and fitness are constantly improving so that I will peak in time for the Olympics.”
Participating in the Olympics will not take away from his ability to participate in the Paralympic games either. “I am also hugely excited to then be competing to defend my three Paralympic titles at the Paralympic Games.
I believe will see some amazing times posted and I am very much looking forward to what will be an incredible Olympics and Paralympics in London.”
He will be the first athlete ever to compete in both games in the same year and the double amputee has high hopes for himself in the Games,
“I am aiming to race well, work well through the rounds, post good times and maybe even a personal best time on the biggest stage of them all .”