Oscar Pistorius: Profile and Biography
Oscar Pistorius (November 22nd, 1986 – ) is a South African sprint athlete. Known as the ‘Blade Runner’ for the use of a blade-like set of artificial limbs, Pistorius is the world record holder for the T44 sports class in the 100m, 200m, and 400m events. The number T44 indicates what kind of disability the athlete is competing with.
The fastest man with no legs dreams of a day when athletes are able to compete in the same category whether they have disabilities or have a perfectly formed body. Pistorius was born with a birth defect where the fibula (a supporting bone in the lower leg) develops as a fibrous band instead of a bone. Because of this, both his legs had to be amputated half-way below the knee.
Pistorius did not let this little fact get in the way and has been an athlete since the age of 11. In school Oscar played tennis, polo, and rugby and continued to play until a knee injury took him off the field. It was then that he was introduced to running and never looked back.
His dream of competing with able-bodied runners has been the source of criticism. The claim is that the design of Oscar’s artificial limbs of Danish design called the Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre gives him an advantage over able-bodied athletes. In 2007 the International Association of Athletic Federations passed a ruling that prohibited the use of a ‘device’ that would give any athlete an undue advantage over those that did not use a device. This ruling was later revoked by the Court for Arbitration of Sport.
Oscar Pistorius wants people to judge him by his athletic ability and not by his disability. That is why he strongly believes that “You are not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are abled by the abilities you have.”
A prosthetic is an artificial part of the human body. The field of medicine that develops this is called orthotics. Can you find out more information about Oscar’s Cheetah Flex-Foot model prosthetic manufactured by the Danish company Ossur?
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