Awesome Double Amputee Runner Qualifies for Olympics

olympicsOscar Pistorius, a South African runner who also goes by the name Blade Runner, just qualified to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. "Big whoop," you're thinking now, right? "I'm not a runner aficionado. Why should I care who's competing? Hell, it's still 2011!" Well, the reason you should care is because Pistorius also happens to be a double amputee. I see your interest is piqued now, friend.

Twenty-four-year-old Pistorious, who competes on carbon fiber legs, almost didn't qualify for the race, though. And not because his time wasn't good enough. Because the International Association of Athletics Federation actually felt that he had an advantage.

An advantage? The dude is in a running contest without any legs.

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The IAAF felt that Pistorious' blades required him to use 25 percent less energy than his rivals to run at the same speed. Pistorius argued that he was running at a disadvantage, with less blood in his body and no calf muscles. You know, the whole "no legs" thing.

The story ended happy, though. After his lengthy legal battle, the evidence was ruled inconclusive and he's now been cleared to compete. Yay for people breaking barriers!

I'm always amazed -- as I imagine most people are -- at people like Oscar. I mean, here's a guy who decided to pursue the one thing that would be most difficult to him: Running. He could have been a doctor or a lawyer or, heck, the owner of a food truck that sells kimchi tacos or something. Something inside him wanted to prove everyone wrong -- and look at him now!

Congrats, Pistorious. You've gained one extra fan today. I'll be cheering you on in the 400mm race next year. Not because you have a disadvantage (or an advantage), because you're a bad ass.

How awesome is Oscar?

 

Image via thomas pix/Flickr

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