Remarkable story of double-amputee Olympian
This is your feel good story for the day. A man born without fibulas in his legs resulting in them being amputated below the knee, has qualified for the South African Olympic team.
South Africa named Pistorius, 25, to the team as a competitor in the 400, making him the first amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympics.
The multiple Paralympic champion announced on Twitter: "Will be in @London2012 for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games! Thank you to everyone that has made me the athlete I am! God, family and friends, my competitors and supporters! You have all had a hand!"
Pistorius was born without a fibula in both legs, leading to the amputation of each leg halfway between the knee and ankle. He now has artificial limbs that are made of carbon fiber.
The spring-like step in his stride was considered an unfair advantage of able-bodied athletes and in 2007 the governing body of track and field, the International Assn. of Athletics Federations, amended its rules to ban the use of "any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device."
But the Court of Arbitration, an international group that settles disputes, ruled in 2008 that Pistorius did not have an unfair advantage over able-bodied athletes. Pistorius, though, did not qualify for the Beijing Games.
To be a world class athelete takes an enormous amount of heart, dedication, and hard work. Imagine what this young man had to do without the benefit of normal legs. Even if his appliances give him a spring in his steps, he still had to build up the muscles in his thighs and butt, not to mention learn how to stay balanced.
A tribute to what humans can accomplish if they have the heart and desire to make the effort.