The Blade Runner’s Legacy

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes during round 1 of the men's 400m heats at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium

He is nicknamed the Blade Runner. Some have referred to him of the Jesse Owens of our time as an athlete who made a difference when he took the field. For the double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, running in the 2012 Olympics in London with able-bodied athletes wrote history and made a statement.

Yet, Pistorius’s legacy is now being tainted because of his recent trial in which he was accused of shooting his girlfriend. A gun and open bottles of steroids were found in Pistorius’s home, and given the evidence, detectives believe that Pistorius was in some type of steroid rage and attacked his girlfriend.

When all is said and done, I am not here to debate whether Pistorius is innocent. Nor am I here to explain why his legacy may or may not change. I am here to explain why the Pistorius trial is attracting so much attention.

This past summer, people admired Pistorius because he was about to do something no other human had done before: run in the Olympics with no legs. He chose to compete in the Olympics – rather than the Paralympics – because he believed he was just as good, if not better, than every able-bodied athlete on the track. Though he was handicapped, he exhibited a type of confidence that made viewers forget he was the underdog.

He accepted his disability – or weakness might we say – and he ignored it. He made the most out of what he had, and though he was disadvantaged in many aspects, he rose to the challenge because he believed that he could.

In many ways, Pistorius and his famous Olympic run represented something that each of us would like to do: take our weakness, and work on it so much that one day we can rival others in the world that never encountered such obstacles. People looked up to Pistorius because he showed us that we all have the potential to become one of the best.

And then his arrest happened. Suddenly, each one of us became aware that maybe the story of Pistorius is not all that it seems. Steroids were found in his home, and he obviously had some temper issues. In all, there were many backstage flaws. What was once a riveting story that drove us to all work harder has changed.

And now we wait. We wait to see what becomes of Oscar Pistorius, the man who gave us the energy to persevere no matter our weaknesses, as he faces the harsh truth that he may never run another race in his life again.

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