Oscar Pistorius cemented himself in the record books with his historic run in the men’s 400-meter heat. He has become the only double amputee to race in the Olympic Games. Just getting to London was a miraculous feat for Pistorius, of South Africa. Officials debated first whether his carbon fiber blades were an unfair advantage before then wondering if he was actually at a disadvantage. He smiled as he reached the beginning of the first 400m heat. Being there was a victory.
In London and around the world, all eyes were on Pistorius in lane six. He would have to be in the first three to automatically advance to the semifinals, his personal goal.
The race itself was awe-inspiring. The crowd erupted in cheers, watching as he made his way around the track, trailing the fastest 400m runner in the world. He made it look simply effortless.
Pistorius even seemed to ease up at the finish line, knowing second place was enough to qualify. His time was just 0.37 seconds off his personal best. The smile before the race showed excitement and gratitude. Pistorius’s smile after the race showed joy and relief.
His fellow competitors were also impressed by his performance. Heat winner, Luguelin Santos, could be seen glancing at Pistorius to his left during the last 100 meters of the race and said later that Pistorius was an inspiration.
Pistorius is here to compete and show the world what true athleticism is. Which is why, without having won so much as a medal, he’s won the hearts of everyone watching.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)