By Ashna Mishra:
Oscar Pistorius, whose full name is Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius will run for South Africa in London 2012 Olympics. The first double amputee athlete has been included in South African Paralympics team, thus giving him a chance to defend his 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters titles as a world record holder. Pistorius, well known as “blade runner” will be seen competing in individual 400 meters and 4 X 400 meters relay. He was selected by the country’s Olympic Committee on Wednesday, 4th July 2012. The “blade runner” born on 22 November 1986 has also earned the title of “the fastest man on no legs”.
But the journey till here has not at all been an easy one. The double-amputee runner who runs wearing ‘carbon fibre blades’, has earned this golden chance after battling the court for the past 4 years. Oscar’s reaction reflected his ineffable joy. He finally got the feeling of accomplishment after 5 long years of chasing his dream. His tweet — “Today is really one of the happiest days in my life” — also shows the same.
However, there still are differing views, when it comes to the advantage of blades over normal human legs. Science believes that blades give an extra advantage to him. 5 years ago, the International Governing Body of the track banned Oscar for a somewhat similar reason. But, one year post the decision of ban, the Court of Arbitration allowed him back. And, it was further believed that the physical disadvantage which Pistorius suffers equalizes the advantage that the blades offer him.
Oscar Pistorius surely seems to have an unfair advantage over the able-bodied competitors and that is why he is expected to run under his own category. However, this view seems biased to me. Why to let such categorization exist at all? Can’t we, for once, shed this concept of categories and instead advocate and encourage Oscar’s spirits? Pistorius has become an epitome of inspiration, courage, determination, skill and above all the spirit of games. He is now all set to create history.