Oscar Pistorius: Overcoming the Impossible

Every four years the world’s audience takes time to watch the marvel of humanity’s physical abilities. We often see the great champions at their best. It’s awe inspiring to see the agility of Usain Bolt, the speed of Michael Phelps, The tenacity of Abby Wambach and the USA Women’s team and so many others. The story that seems to stand out the most is possibly Oscar Pistorius AKA “The Blade Runner”.

Pistorious, a man in my age group, is currently one of the most successful track and field runners in the 400m course. He is also a double amputee. His life’s story is, in a word, incredible. At the time of his birth, the doctors at his hospital discovered that he lacked a frontal fibula, a necessary joint for his lower legs to function. After having them removed his parents made it their goal to make their son’s life as normal as possible. In receiving prosthetic lower limbs he was encouraged to participate in rugby in a local youth league. An injury in 2003 forced him to evaluate what was important to him. In learning to run on his artificial limbs he found his niche. He started to compete in the Paralympics,  break numerous records, defied the impossible odds by competing in the Olympics as an equal before the commission and gave hope to thousands of physically handicapped people. Watching him compete in the London games raised a few thoughts.

In life we as people constantly think about what we could have, to make us perform or live better. We excuse ourselves when faced with a shortcoming. How some of us cannot live up to someone else’s expectations or do as well as others. I say look at the gifts that each of us possesses and go forward. Each of us has the ability to find out strengths. Only then can we find gratitude for ourselves.  If a man who lost and regained his mobility from birth, went against the expectations of those around him and walked off the field with dignity then they deserve nothing but respect.

Grenada’s Kirani James and Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. True sportsmanship.

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