It was a joy to me, and many other disabled people, to see our man Oscar run in the big show. His smile was seen around the world. And we were all smiling with him.
But in less than a minute it was over.
And it wasn’t an unexpected finish. It was pretty unlikely that Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee who is the first person to ever compete in the regular Olympics and the Paralympics, would make it to the finals in the 400 meter. His personal best time is just over 45 seconds. Thirteen runners in the semi finals can run a 400 meter in under 45 seconds. So with the snap of the gun and a burst of speed, the race started and ended in less than a minute. And Oscar didn’t make the cut.
He’ll still run in the 4×400 relay later in the week. He has a better chance at a medal there. And if you watch the qualifying heat he ran on Saturday, you’ll see that Oscar was at his best, a flash of speed on two metal blades. There has been, and probably always will be, much controversy about whether he has an unfair advantage, using his cheetah legs. As an amputee myself, I’ll never stop believing he is a hard working miracle to even have times close to an able bodied runner. He’s worked as hard, if not harder, than his fellow runners, to clock the times he has.
Here is a great graphic of how Oscar’s legs work, and why he actually has a disavantage when the race begins. It’s worth a look before you make your own judgement.