Sunday, February 24, 2013

The fall of a sporting legend

SreeNair | 11:56 PM |

One more icon-a sporting legend who triumphed over disability to compete with able-bodied athletes at the Olympics- falls. From the high pedestal in to the abhorring valley of infamy -this time not from any trickery in the field-but for a blatant and unsavory show of irresistible killing instinct.

Reuters report from South Africa- "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was charged on Thursday with shooting dead his girlfriend at his upscale home in Pretoria." Reeva Steenkamp, a girlfriend,a model and a rising reality TV starer was shot four times and killed at Pistorius' upscale home in an eastern suburb of the South African capital in the predawn hours of Thursday last.

Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb Mount Everest, wrote in an essay that Pistorius was "on the cusp of a paradigm shift in which disability becomes ability, disadvantage becomes advantage. "(Wiki)

In 2006, Pistoris was conferred with the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze (OIB) by the President of South Africa for outstanding achievement in sports. Helen Rollason Award on 9 December 2007, was conferred for outstanding courage and achievement in the face of adversity.In February 2012 Pistorius was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a disability.After the 2012 Summer Paralympics, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow announced they would confer on Pistorius, among others, an honorary doctorate.In April 2012, Time Magazine named Pistorius, one of six athletes, in its list of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” and remarked that he is “the definition of global inspiration.”

These were but some of the awards and accolades in the ques -for this man.

Was this man running truth-less to himself? -the tattoo he carried on his back,sported the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 9:26 which begins, "I do not run like a man running aimlessly."Opinion is divided at-least as at present.

No more ask for the roll-models.Sports men are just mortals like you and me.How dare one should expect them to be superhuman when it comes to morality, tolerance and the like heavenly niceties.It is self-deceiving when you construct temples for them.They can not stayed connected eternally to the throbbing hearts as holy men.They -the sport stars- have no eternal contract to have social obligation to be a roll model.

Athletes often make poor role models. Lance Armstrong, O.J. Simpson and Tiger Woods-all deceived us.Yuvraj known as a penchant hard cricketer -while undergoing his worst days fighting cancer -wrote on Twitter "Reading Lance Armstrong's book it's not about the bike! I'm sure it will motivate me and pull me through this time! Livestrong yuvstrong!" He was inspired from Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who had manfully fought with the testicular cancer and had won numerous Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong is doomed to oblivion with all medals being stripped and stands lifetime ban with the loss of unprecedented seven straight Tour de France titles and his Olympic bronze.

Oscar Pistorius is a compelling story about an extraordinary sports icon worth $2million a year riding above the crust in international sporting arena beating over his disability competing with his able-bodied rivals at the Olympics. Born without fibulas in his lower legs, his legs were amputated below the knee before he was one-year-old. Pistorius sweat hard for a four-year battle to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympics as the first double-amputee runner in Olympic history. He represented South Africa in the 400 meters and 4 x 400 relay at the 2012 London Olympic . Pistorius advanced to the semifinals in the 400 meters and retained his Paralympic title in that event.

He earned the nickname of “Blade Runner” because of his J-shaped prostheses, called “Flex-Foot Cheetah blades.” Each blade is a “custom-built, high-performance carbon fiber foot designed primarily for sporting activities.”

Peter Weyand, a professor of applied psychology and bio mechanics at Southern Methodist University is quoted as saying that Pistorius’s blades were very light, 5.4 pounds, as compared to 12.6 pounds for the leg and foot of a able-bodied runner which gives him an edge to reposition his blades 20 percent more rapidly than a normal competitor.

No less a figure than the Jamaican gold medalist Michael Johnson, the retired world-record holder and two-time Olympic champion at 400m, felt that Pistorius should not have competed at the London Games.

Erik Weihenmayer discounts the theory- " It's too easy to credit Pistorius' success to technology."He writes " 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."

The man who cheered the crowd ,a great source of inspiration for the less advantaged , one of the pals in London's Olympic and Paralympic is behind the bars to be languished-the queer turn of the quakes-for a certain life time in jail if proved.

Initial reports suggested that Pistorius might have shot Steenkamp for a burglar-but cops trace no sign of forced entry or burglary at Pistorius's residence, despite rumors and reports on the contrary.There had been previous complaints of a “domestic nature” at his home. An investigation is on into a reckless driving.He had a night in police custody after an alleged assault- a reported threat to break a man's legs in a dispute over a woman.Also South Africa is one of the world’s most dreaded countries.

The perp-walk photos in the dailies shocked all in the sports world .In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday after the NBA’s All-Star celebrity game, Michael Johnson still couldn’t seem to believe it, saying “I’m still just trying to process it in my head to see if this is really real.” -The Hindu reports.

The irony is that the kill was staged on the 15th anniversary of the V-Day. It was on Feb. 14, One Billion Rising -the global invitation to dance-called upon all men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends.

An “adrenaline freak”-as he was often thought of- had raved in driving cars 155 miles per hour on roads with gutters and potholes and boat races-a crash of his boat once fixed him for 172 stitches-he was a votary of guns and shooting and had a penchant for keeping dangerous pets.

Pistorius may never run again .The newyork times quotes.“I have decided that following these tragic events that we have no option but to cancel all future races that Oscar Pistorius had been contracted to compete in,” his agent, Peet van Zyl, said in a statement.

One more icon fell from the dizzy hights of adoration to the sloughy land of disgust and oblivion.


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