Running on a pair of prosthetic legs, Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to compete in an Olympic race and was a crowd favorite from the moment he stepped onto the track Saturday morning in the London 2012 Olympics. While he knew gold in the 400-meter here wasn’t likely, he still wasn’t content to simply show up in London. He did that, finishing second in his qualifying heat Saturday. Pistorius had no problem advancing, finishing in 45.44 seconds, his second-best mark of the year. Oscar did not get through the semifinals that took place on Sunday.
Pistorius is known as the Blade Runner because he wears blade-shaped prosthetics. He has competed in the Paralympics but fought for years to be included in the Olympics. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the blades do not give him an advantage over other runners.
One picture is worth thousand words. The picture above says a lot more than what anyone can possibly write about. It reflects the marvel and the capacity of the human spirit to survive and succeed against all odds. Many lead the world to greatness through their thoughts and ideas. Others exhibit greatness through their heart, love and caring. Many more demonstrate their leadership through their physical effort and acts of valor or setting new standards. The Olympic records being set this week, are evidences of the above. Then there are those few who demonstrate all that and more despite their disability. These rare individuals – the Oscar Pistorius of the world – show us that disability of any kind need not become a permanent and everlasting disadvantage. As Oscar put it, “I am not disabled; I am just different”!