“You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”
The South African runner was born without the fibula bone in both of his legs, but he didn’t let that stop him from a career in running. Indeed, he is called the “fastest man with no legs” and he was able to participate in both the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay thanks to the unique technology behind his “Blade Runner” Flex-Foot Cheetah carbon fiber legs. You can read more about the Olympic tech in Dylan Duarte’s article, as well as some of the other tech from the Games.
Life has never been easy for Pistorius and he had to lobby hard for his chance to participate in the Olympics. Prior to these Summer Games, the “Blade Runner” had already earned three gold medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, plus a gold and a bronze in 2004 in Athens. But he didn’t want the fact that he was missing the bottom half of both legs slow him down. Not for one second.
Yes, some people may argue that this creates a slippery slope for what is and isn’t allowed as an artificial prosthesis at the Olympics, but give Pistorius credit. He truly is an inspiration. It doesn’t matter that life is hard; it should be. That’s what makes life interesting, challenging and worth living. You are able by the abilities you have.
Oh, and for the record, Oscar Pistorius finished second in his initial heat for the individual 400m race, but was not able to qualify for the final. For the 4×400 relay, while his South African team won an appeal to get into the final, they were not able to win a medal. That doesn’t make Oscar, or any other Olympian for that matter, any less of a winner in my books.
Image credit: FastCoDesign.com