Some of you might know Oscar Pistorius, a really inspiring person, possessing immense personal drive, confidence, and passion for life.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph of him without a smile on his face.  He is athletic, fit, and a lover of sports, his passion for sports having started when he was 11, playing rugby, water polo, and tennis.  He is active and vocal in support of his beliefs.  He is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Pretoria.

Currently, he’s best known for being a sprint runner.  He did not qualify to represent South Africa in 400 metre race during the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing because his running time was about 2 seconds higher than the qualifying maximum.  He did qualify for participation in this year’s Olympic Games, so expect to see him on the track.

Oscar was born without fibias in either of his legs and he underwent surgery at 11 months to amputate the legs at mid-calf.  He runs with the use of some pretty phenomenal carbon fibre artificial limbs designed by an Iceland-based company, Ossur.

This is where I confess with no small measure of embarrassment that I began this post with a paraphrase of that last paragraph before thinking better of it.  It’s a force of habit.  The quickest method of identifying a person is to point out a person’s most prominent physical feature, whether it be a set of beautiful eyes, their physical size, a noticeable difference in their gait.  But it frustrates me that I was so quick to define Pistorius by disability (double amputation) rather than his many abilities and positive traits (talented runner, great guy, smart cookie, etc.).

Continue reading