Archive for June, 2012

I have already blogged about one inspirational paraplegic, Bushy McKelvey who is the initiator of the “Out On A Limb” project is a bilateral below the knee amputee. You can read about Bushy and his team progress here on their Facebook Page. But this blog is about another inspirational South African.

Oscar Pistorius AKA “The Blade Runner”  named so not because of Ridley Scott’s cult film by the same name but because of the hightech carbon fiber blades that Oscar runs on. Oscar currently holds world records for 100, 200 and 400 m sprinting events and these achievements have also earned him the title of being the “Fastest Man On No Legs”

Oscar was born in Sandton South Africa on November 22nd 1986 with with congenital absence of the fibula in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles.  But this did not slow the lad down in any shape or form.  In his younger years he played rugby at school and represented his province ( a province in South Africa is a bit like a county in the UK) in water polo and tennis! Oscar started running in 2004 after a serous rugby injury and well I think its safe to say the lad has not looked back or even slowed down !

I don’t think Oscar has even really seen him self as disabled. From his tweets on Twitter (@OscarPistorius) you see a very normal athlete who goes to training and keeping his sponsors happy by doing public appearances. In fact Oscar has even tried to compete against able bodied athletes but only to have IAAF ban him from using his blades at events. This was after some American scientists confirmed that that Oscar’s Össur Flex-Foot Cheetah artificial legs offered no more benefit than human legs. You can read more about this on Oscar’s official page here.

In recent months Oscar has been listed on Time’s Magazine’s top 100 most influential people. A great acknowledgement of this most inspiring athlete.

I have always hated the words “invalid” and “disabled” when it comes to describing people. Being a techie person these terms relate to access to a file or program. Both Oscar and Bushy prove that they are just as able as any person. Granted they may have something to prove to the rest of us. But don’t we all have something to prove ?

I for one will be backing Oscar in the up coming Paralympics in London and I wish Busy and the Out on a Limb team a save trip round Africa.

Links: ( You can click on the underlined text above to take you to more info and to associated info )

Oscar Pistorius Official Web Page

Oscar Pistorius on Wiki

Out on a Limb Official Web Page 

Out on a Limb Facebook 

Out on a Limb Twitter @OOALSeries