London Bound: “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius Named To South African Olympic Team
Oscar Pistorius’ long battle to qualify for the able-bodied Olympics has been publicized around the world. The double amputee has graced the track and field world with some dazzling performances in recent years. He is the fastest man in the world at 400-meters in Paralympic competition, however Pistorius has made it very clear: he believes he is qualified to compete in the able-bodied Olympics in London this summer.
While he originally missed out on his chance to qualify for the individual 400-meter race, Pistorius has been officially chosen for the South African Olympic 4 × 400-meter relay team. Following today’s announcement that he would join Wille de Beer, Ofentse Mogawane and Shaun de Jager in the 4 × 400m relay, the South African Sports Confederation and the Olympic Committee announced that Pistorius was also selected to run the individual 400m race; an opportunity he has been seeking for years. Pistorius will become the first amputee track athlete to compete in the able-bodied Olympics and the only amputee athlete qualified this year.
“This is truly one of the proudest days of my life,” Pistorius said. “To have been selected to represent Team South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the individual 400m and the 4×400m relay is a real honor and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together.”
Often referred to as “The Blade Runner,” Pistorius runs with carbon fiber prosthetic running blades and competes with not only fellow amputees, but also some of the best able-bodied athletes in the world. In 2008 the Court of Arbitration For Sport ruled that his blades did not provide him with an unfair advantage, which allowed him to officially begin his quest to qualify for the able-bodied Olympics.
Pistorius previously ran under the Olympic “A” qualification standard of 45.30 in June at a meet in Pretoria, South Africa. His time of 45.20 was his second fastest, just behind his personal best set in 2011 at a meet in Italy, when he ran 45.07. The South African Athletics Federation decided that all South African athletes needed to run the “A” qualification time once more in international competition to be considered for the South African Olympic Team. While he fell just short of that mark in several attempts, Pistorius was still ultimately chosen to represent his country at the Olympics this year in London.
“I have a phenomenal team behind me who have helped get me here and I, along with them, will now put everything we can into the final few weeks of preparations before the Olympic Games, where 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,” Pistorius said following his selection.
Pistorius has dedicated the last several years of his life to this goal and at last he has achieved it. He is officially a 2012 Olympian. The Oakley family could not be more proud of Oscar and his commitment and dedication to his sport.
Stay connected to Oscar and Oakley during the 2012 games by joining his team on the new Oakley Beyond Reason Social Hub