Oscar Pistorius will be running for South Africa in the Olympics. He is the first double amputee to ever qualify on the track, and will be competing in the individual 400 metres and the 4×400 m relay at the London Olympics.
Pistorius, who is known as “blade runner” at home, races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades.
While the 25-year-old had not previously qualified for the individual 400 m event, South Africa’s Olympic committee asked the International Olympic Committee for special permission to also allow Pistorius to run the event. South Africa’s Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee insisted, however, that Pistorius was picked for the Games because of athletic ability, and not his fame.
Born without either fabula, the long, thin bone that anchors the calf muscle and forms the outside of the ankle, Pistorius underwent a below the knee amputation when he was 11-months-old and has been using prosthetic legs since before he could walk.
Although he ran 400 m in 45.20 seconds, an Olympic-qualifying time earlier this year, Pistorius missed out on a second qualifying time by a quarter of a second at the African Championships in June.