Tonight along with my husband and my 13 year old daughter I watched Oscar Pitorius make Olympic history. He is the first double amputee, to compete against able bodied opponents. Pistorius runs using carbon-fiber blades, thus the nickname, the Blade Runner.
As an advocate for people with disabilities, I’m always on the lookout for stories of those who succeed beyond others’ perceptions. When I learned about Ocar Pistorius, born without fibulae with both legs amputated above the knee, I wanted to do anything in my power to see him run. Even though we’re on a short trip away from home, we made it a point to be in front of the TV to watch him qualify.
My eyes were filled with tears as he stood there waiting for the race to start. He was smiling and nodding to the crowd. Did this help calm his nerves or was it a celebration for the opportunity he was given? I explained what was happening to my daughter – that the Oscar Pistorius was not only racing in the ParaOlympics, but in the Olympics, a first.
Then he ran and he was just like the other runners. Furiously, amazingly fast. We watched wide eyed as he made it to the Men’s 400 Meter Semifinals. We cheered, right there in the restaurant. We heard others giggling as the race began. Maybe it had nothing to do with Oscar, the Blade Runner. I pray it wasn’t. Nothing was going to ruin this moment for me.
The biggest thrill was my daughter’s reaction. She already knew about him and couldn’t understand why he had to fight to race able-bodies athletes while he trained and worked just as hard as they did. Such simple logic.
Image Source – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oscar_Pistorius.jpg