Olympics 2012: Oscar Pistorius enjoys ‘amazing’ experience

No medal, but he was a finalist

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“I’ve been inspired by so many athletes. Just to have had that opportunity to step outside, it’s been absolutely phenomenal.”

He hasn’t had time to reflect on his achievements yet, he said, because there’s “just been so much to learn.”

“All in all, this was such a successful campaign for us,” he said. “I wanted to make the semifinals in the individual. I wanted to make the final in the 4x4. We could never have hoped for half the support we’ve received.”

His inclusion in the Olympics didn’t get universal support. Some critics argued that his carbon fiber blades gave him an unfair advantage, and there were concerns that he could injure other athletes if he tangled with them in the relays.

But he was definitely a crowd favorite, and he won plenty of friends among the other athletes.

“Oscar is a great friend of mine,” said Tony McQuay, part of the U.S. relay team which won the silver medal. “Oscar is a great, great, great, tremendous athlete.

“I don’t even look down and see what he’s running with down there. Doesn’t matter to me. I know Oscar’s heart. If they come out with some type of legs for him to break the world record, every year, every day, every meet — I’m supporting him 100 percent of the way.”

LJ van Zyl ran the third section of the relay for South Africa, and handed the baton over to Pistorius.

“It was a privilege to run the final and also it was a bigger privilege to run the relay with Oscar,” he said. “I think 10 or 20 years from now we will still remember the day when we ran with Oscar at the Olympics.”

And while he has set plenty of precedents in London, Pistorius isn’t anywhere near done just yet. He’s competing in the Paralympics later this month, and there’s always Rio.

“For me to come out here and know that all the time and effort I’ve put in … and the time everyone has invested in me has paid off, it’s just one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” he said. “It inspires me and motivates me for the next four years looking to,” the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

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