Double Amputee Runner Wins Right to Kick Ass at the World Championships

August 9, 2011

There are so few positive sports stories in these days of wanton greed, corporate influence, and unadulterated doping. But this should perk you right up. South Africa has chosen a runner to compete in the World Championships. He's Oscar Pistorius and he's a double leg amputee.

His story is an inspiring one because he's not only had to overcome his handicap to qualify for the tournament, but he's also had to overcome a great deal of controversy and politics because of his handicap. Pistorius, 24, is able to run in the tournament because of two carbon fiber blades he wears in his place of his lower legs and feet, which he lost when he was just 11 months old because he was born without a fibula in either of his lower legs. He learned to walk and later run with the specially designed prostheses and scored multiple gold medals in the Paralympics and later wanted to compete in the Olympics but the International Association of Athletics Federation banned from his competition because they claimed the carbon fiber blades actually gave him an advantage. The ruling was later overturned, but he failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the World Championships in 2009.

Cut to the present day: he set his personal best time at a qualifier in Rome, which earned him a spot in the World Championships. He will be the only athlete from his country to compete in the 400 meter sprint. I know this sounds treasonous against the good ol' US of A but part of me hopes he not only makes it to the next Olympics, but that he also kills it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll start packing my things so the boys from the CIA can pick me up and ship me off to Guantanamo.

Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images