The tale of Oscar
Pistorius - South Africa's double amputee athletics
star - seems like one culled out of those numerous
A beater in the Paralympics fold, Pistorius
(21) decided to raft on uncharted waters when
his interest to engage a battle pitting the
able-bodied against the disabled peaked this
The Paralympian's hopes of participating in
this year's Olympics against able-bodied athletes
seemed to have been thwarted when world athletics
governing body wrongly opined that his prosthetic
limbs gave him an "unfair advantage."
Pistorius, though, managed to overturn that
proclamation when he won an appeal at the Court
of Arbitration for Sport last week. The 21-year-old
now has an Olympics lifeline. He needs to better
his 400m's personal best time of 46.46 seconds
by a little over a second or so to compete at
the big time.
If he fails to achieve that lofty target, Pistorius
will still be a hero to many - including yours
truly who despite being able-bodied cannot,
by any stretch of imagination, do 400m in 46.46.
Small wonder Pistorius's disability-defying
feats won him a deserved berth on TIME Magazine's
esteemed list of 2008's most influential personalities.
Erik Weihenmayer - the first blind man to reach
Mount Everest’s summit - hit the bull's
eye when he penned a piece for TIME on Pistorius
with a lavish hand. The South African youngster
has showed that (cliché it may be) disability
doesn't translate into inability.
Disability in the world of sport doesn't necessarily
connote ‘not being able-bodied.’
The Ugandas of this world are pretty much disabled
footballing sides when juxtaposed with the game's
able-bodied elder statesmen like Brazil.
So, maybe watching Pistorius take on Jeremy
Wariner will inject a dose of belief in their
debilitating systems. But then again, with the
Hungarian-German Csaba Laszlo at the helm, that
may well be a gigantic wish.
He may be a 'disabled' tactician who has donned
the predictable 4-4-2 straitjacket. And yes,
he may - as he insists - have a bunch of 'disabled'
local-based players, but the nadir the 44-year-old
reached last Saturday was unprecedented.
The national football team - The Cranes - has
infamously never overturned a result after losing
in the first leg. Last weekend, they never threatened
throwing that abject record in the wastebasket
- not even after striker Geoffrey Serunkuma
scrambled a goal home early on (his 14th in
One look at The Cranes' bench sent shivers
down everyone's spine. Uganda was 2-0 down from
the first leg, but Csaba still contrived to
name - bar Robert Ssentongo - a defensive bench.
It was Csaba at his best - removing the prosthetic
limbs from a disabled Cranes outfit.
Looks like a leopard will never lose its spots
after all. So much for Pistorius's bout of inspiration!