Friday, Aug 29, 2014Friday, Aug 29, 2014
News
 

Olympics: South African media lauds Pistorius' historic run

Published on Aug 5, 2012 7:09 PM
 
Double amputee Oscar Pistorius of South Africa sets off in the men's 400m heats. He finished in second place. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Accolades poured in on Sunday for South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, who became the first double amputee to compete in an athletics event at the Olympics.

Sunday newspapers' front pages splashed images of the 25-year-old finishing second in his heat running on carbon fibre blades. Also known as the "Blade Runner", he had both legs amputated below the knee before he was aged one because of a congenital condition.

"Oscar melts the hardest of hearts", said a headline in City Press newspaper, while the Sunday Independent awarded "An Oscar for gutsy Pistorius". "It's been a battle of courts, minds and hearts," the newspaper reported, referring to the runner's challenges to reach the Olympics.

He was cleared four years ago to run against able-bodied athletes when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned a ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that his blades gave him an unfair advantage.

The Sunday Times likened Pistorius to fellow South African Natalie du Toit, a single amputee who swam against able-bodied athletes in the Beijing Olympics.

"These two great South Africans have done more than just compete at the highest level with great success. They have also redefined what it means to be 'disabled'."

"It is not exaggeration to say that they have forever changed the way the world views those who have lost one or both limbs," the paper said in an editorial.