JOHANNESBURG — Never count out Oscar Pistorius.
The “Blade Runner” will be competing in the London Olympics in his favored 400 meters, after all.
The double-amputee runner from South Africa has spent almost all his life without lower legs and his entire track career proving he’s good enough to compete with the best. He now has the chance to do just that.
The 25-year-old will be running in London in the individual 400 and the 4x400 relay - the first amputee track athlete to compete at any games.
“Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life,” Pistorius said.
While his selection for the relay team was likely, it was only a surprise last-minute turnaround by South African sports officials Wednesday that gave Pistorius the chance to run in his favorite event at the Olympics.
South Africa's Olympic committee and national track federation suddenly decided to clear Pistorius for the 400 at the London Games on his carbon fiber blades despite him just missing out on the country’s strict qualifying criteria.
They added his name as the last on their team of 125 track and field athletes.
Not bad for a kid whose legs were amputated below the knee at 11 months old and originally didn’t like track and field when he took it up as a teenager to rehabilitate from a rugby injury.
“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 honor, and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together,” Pistorius said Wednesday.
Set to realize his dream of competing at an Olympics and Paralympics in the same year, his joy also was obvious in a post on Twitter.
“Will be in @ London2012 for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games!” the multiple Paralympic champion and soon-to-be Olympic athlete tweeted. “Thank you to everyone that has made me the athlete I am! God, family and friends, my competitors and supporters! You have all had a hand!”
Pistorius‘ Olympic selection wasn’t clear cut. He forced his way in against all the odds as he’s done time and time again.
Just like his last-gasp qualifying time to make history at the world championships last year, Pistorius claimed his place at the Olympics late. He also needed some help.View Entire Story
By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention