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Oscar Pistorius
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    (November 22, 1986- )
    Born in Johannesburg, South Africa
    At age 11 months, both legs were amputated below the knees
    Runs using Cheetah Flex-Foot artificial limbs
    Won four gold medals at the Paralympics (2004-08)
    Set the double amputee world record at 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters
    Took part in his first competition against able-bodied athletes (2007)
    International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled him ineligible for the Olympics under a newly adopted rule banning 'any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides a user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device'
    IAAF ruling overturned by the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS; May, 2008)
    Nicknamed 'Blade Runner' and 'the fastest man on no legs'
    Trial for murder of Reeva Steenkamp began on March 3, 2014; found guilty of culpable homicide and one firearms charge (September 12, 2014)
    Sentenced to five years in prison (October 21, 2014)
    Found guilty of murder after manslaughter conviction overturned by appeals court (December 3, 2015)
    The IAAF concluded his artificial limbs require 25% less energy while running, giving him an unfair advantage.
    Some commentators claim the blades of his limbs are longer than necessary, allowing him to cover more ground with each stride.
    After all the legal wrangling required before he could try out for South Africa's Olympic team, his times were not good enough to make the cut.
    He recorded voiceovers for two disco tracks.
    He complained about the 'pajama style' outfits the South African team were supposed to wear for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Paralympics.
    He was charged with murdering his girlfriend (February 14, 2013).
    Before taking up running, he played rugby, water polo and tennis.
    The CAS upheld his appeal on the grounds that the IAAF did not take into account the disadvantages of the prosthetics, most notably that Pistorius requires extra energy to start running.
    He said, 'If they ever found evidence that I was gaining an advantage, then I would stop running, because I would not want to compete at a top level if I knew I had an unfair advantage.'
    Blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer wrote, 'It's too easy to credit Pistorius' success to technology. Through birth or circumstance, some are given certain gifts, but it's what one does with those gifts, the hours devoted to training, the desire to be the best, that is at the true heart of a champion.'
    He became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics; advancing in his 400 meter heat (August 4, 2012).

Credit: C. Fishel

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