Blade Runner: Pistorius Gives God the GloryUpdated 9:31AM, Monday August 6th, 2012 by Hefin Rhys Jones, Christian.co.uk 1 comment
Oscar Pistorius yesterday became the first disabled athlete to take part in the Olympic Games. Currently the Paralympic 100m, 200m and 400m champion, Oscar is a committed Christian.
Blade Runner: Controversial 400m champ Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee and committed Christian
The 25 year-old South African, born without a fibula in each of his legs, had both of them amputated below the knee before he was even one year old.
Now, voted one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2008, the athlete lives by daily his motto: “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have”.
Known as The Blade Runner, due to his blade-like carbon-fibre artificial limbs, the sprinter made the Olympic 400m qualifying time at a meeting in Italy last year; running a personal best of 45.07.
That also qualified him for the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Running in the 4x400m relay semi-finals, Oscar helped South Africa go on to a silver medal, though he never ran in the final himself.
Pistorius ran the Olympic qualifying time again in March 2012, clocking 45.20 at an event in South Africa. Last night, Pistorius became the first ever Paralympian to compete in the Olympic Games - the culmination of a long held ambition.
Notwithstanding his personal achievements, worldwide fame and his deep passion for athletics, Oscar is clear about whom and what is central in his life. “God is the most important person in the world to me.” He told an interviewer. “If I’m on the right patch spiritually, it helps with everything else.”
Raised in a Christian home, Oscar recalls how he accepted Christ as his saviour more or less before he could remember, and now seeks to show God’s love in the tough environment of international athletics.
But his quest to compete at this year’s London Games hasn’t been easy. A number of athletes and athletics chiefs have questioned the legality of his artificial limbs; feeling they give him an unfair advantage over his able bodied competitors.
Following a series of performance tests at Cologne University, the IAAF ruled in January 2008 that his artificial limbs did give him an unfair advantage and judged his prostheses ineligible for IAAF competitions.
Three months later the ruling was overturned on appeal and Oscar was cleared to compete in the 2008 Olympics, though he then failed to make the qualifying time. In spite of the IAAF endorsement of his artificial limbs, there are still people in athletics set against him competing alongside able bodied athletes; something which irritates Pistorius.
Despite the many obstacles he's faced and continues to face, Pistorius is a true champion. He is very clear about the source of his strength during the trials he has faced: “Christ makes all the difference. He aids me in my struggles and makes my glories that much better.”
HEFIN RHYS JONES
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Awesome - keep the profiles of Christian athletes from London 2012 coming!
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