Saturday, September 03, 2011

Fastest Man on No Legs

Oscar Pastorius is back-- and determined to be qualify for the Olympics. i think the world needs to be open to this and other opportunities for the differently able to compete.

Don't feel sorry for 'tink, tink'-- strive to emulate his determination and cheer him on!
Bladerunner: Oscar at the 2004 Athens Paralympics
Oscar Pistorius smiles whenever he is introduced as "the fastest man on no legs" even though some might be offended by the somewhat politically incorrect sobriquet.
For Pistorius, a talented sprinter who had both his legs amputated when he was a baby, it is just an indication of how far he has come ? and how much more he could achieve.
In a groundbreaking race next weekend in Sheffield, 20-year-old Pistorius will take on the current Olympic champion.
Not as some freak show or demonstration race ? but because for the first time in history, a disabled runner has earned his place among the world's elite on merit.
"Already a Paralympic champion and world-record holder in amputee races over 100m, 200m and 400m, Pistorius is now achieving something revolutionary.
With aid of high-tech carbon-fibre legs, he is almost as fast as the best able-bodied runners in the world.
While he could well set yet another world record for amputee athletes next week, that is no longer his goal.
Nothing short of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics next year will satisfy him.
But his case could divide the sport. While many see him as a groundbreaking hero, redefining the very concept of athletic achievement, others claim his artificial legs amount to cheating.
Pistorius himself can't see what all the fuss is about because he considers himself as just another athlete.
"I'm not disabled," he says breezily. "I just don't have any legs."
If this sounds like a story straight out of Hollywood, it will come as no surprise to learn that Tom Hanks is bidding to make a film about Pistorius, nicknamed the Bladerunner because of the carbon-fibre blades he attaches just below the knee.
Made by a specialist firm in Iceland and known as 'Cheetahs', they cost £15,000 a pair and are the Ferraris of artificial legs.

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