Oscar Pistorius Named Future Olympian

Physically disabled athletes usually compete in the Special Olympics until now

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Double amputee Oscar Pistorius was selected for the South African Olympic track team. The challenges that his prosthetics would provide an unfair racing advantage have been overturned.

Initially Pistorius did not qualify for the Olympic track team, but last week he was named to compete in the 400-meter individual race and 4x100 relay team.

His qualifying time in the 400-meter race, of 45.07 seconds, advanced him past the preliminary races and into the semifinals on August 4th.

"Watch Pistorius run in the 2012 Olympics on August 4th."

The debate over Pistorius’ carbon fiber prosthetic blades came to a head in 2008 when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) did an investigation.

The IAAF spent over $50,000 to evaluate whether or not the ‘cheetas’ enhanced Pistorius’ performance beyond an able-bodied person’s natural ability.  The spring-like shape of the prosthetics absorb shock and spring the wearer as they run.

In 2008, the first ruling was not in Pistorius’ favor. They claimed that the ‘bouncing’ initiated by the blades helped him conserve oxygen and energy.

Pistorius appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. They voted across the board to overturn the IAAF’s objection and he has been eligible to compete in international races ever since.

Pistrorius has been a double-amputee since his infancy. He was born with no fibulas, which required lower leg amputations when he was 11 months old.

He ran in the Paralympics in 2004, winning gold and bronze medals. In 2008, he won three golds.

Upon hearing of his selection to the Olympic team, Pistorius said, “Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life.”

Hopefully, Pistorius’ example will inspire the millions of amputees out there in the world to follow their dreams.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 16, 2012
Last Updated:
January 16, 2013