London Olympics 2012: Double amputee Oscar Pistorius will make history in the 400 meters


Oscar Pistorius, who wears carbon fiber blades, will become the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. (ALESSANDRO GAROFALO/REUTERS)

At first he was barred from competing in able-bodied events, such as the Olympics. Then South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius struggled to make the qualifying time for the Summer Games. But Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner for his carbon fiber prosthetic legs, finally earned his place in London this summer, making him the first amputee to compete in track and field at an Olympics.

Pistorius has no chance to win the gold, but some say he’s already claimed the biggest prize of the 400-meter competition in which he will participate. Pistorius fought before the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing to overturn the international track and field federation’s (IAAF’s) ban on athletes with prosthetic legs — it claimed they gave him an advantage — and won. He squeezed on to South Africa’s team this summer after missing a bid four years ago.

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