Double-amputee sprinter, Oscar Pistorius, has won his appeal and will now be allowed to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games! I am extremely happy for him.
Yesterday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport unanimously ruled in favor of the 21-year-old South African athlete, making him eligible to race against able-bodied athletes. Originally, the International Association of Athletics Federations had banned him from the sport claiming that the metal in his running blades gave him an unfair advantage.
“I am ecstatic,” Pistorius told reporters in Milan, Italy. “When I found out, I cried. It is a battle that has been going on for far too long. It’s a great day for sport. I think this day is going to go down in history for the equality of disabled people.”
It’s not over for Pistorius – he must still reach a qualifying time to run in the individual 400 meters but can be selected for the South African relay squad without qualifying. He currently holds the 400-meter Paralympic world record of 46.56 seconds. As impressive as that is, he will have to do even better since the Olympic qualifying standard of 45.55. I hope he makes it!
image provided by Newscom