2012 Olympics | July 27 - August 12
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar PistoriusSport: Track and Field

Nation: South Africa

DOB: November 22, 1986

Hometown: Pretoria

Career Highlights: Pistorius may not be a favorite to medal in the 400 meters this summer, but his mere presence in London will be an inspiration to people with disabilities around the world. The South African, who had his lower legs amputated as a baby after he was born without either fibula, will become the first amputee athlete to compete in a running event at the Olympics. Even before he was named to South Africa's team, Pistorius' achievements garnered plenty of recognition - perhaps most notably as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world and as the 2012 Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. Nicknamed "Blade Runner" for the prosthetic limbs he uses on the track, Pistorius has been forced to overcome claims that his artificial lower legs give him an advantage over able-bodied runners. The IAAF, the world governing body for athletics, ruled him ineligible for competition in 2008, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport unanimously overturned that ruling a few months later. Pistorius attempted to qualify for the Beijing Games that summer, but came up short in the 400 and was not selected for South Africa's 4x400-meter relay team. He did, however, win gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races at the Beijing Paralympics, adding to a pair of medals he won in Athens. After recovering from serious injuries suffered in a 2009 boat accident, Pistorius qualified for the world championships last year, reaching the semifinals in the 400 and helping South Africa win a silver medal in the 4x400 relay. He ran the first leg in the qualifying heat, in which the team set a national record, although he did not run in the final. It seemed like he would not get the chance to run in the individual 400 in London after he barely missed meeting South Africa's strict qualifying criteria, but he has run the Olympic "A" standard twice in the last year and was chosen for the team anyway. He also figures to be a fixture in the relay, which probably represents Pistorius' best chance to medal - and produce a magical moment on the podium.

Olympic History: None

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