Paralympics 2012

Paralympics all about Oscar

2012-09-10 13:17
Oscar Pistorius (Gallo)
London - He may be going home a gold medal short, but Oscar Pistorius still ruled at the 2012 London Paralympics Games.

"I was away on holiday abroad looking at the papers and it was all about Oscar Pistorius," said Roger Black, Britain’s former Olympic and world 400m silver medallist.

"He is one of the most recognisable sporting figures in the world.

"He does probably more for the Paralympic movement than anybody else because of the coverage he gets."

Despite the success of Team Great Britain, who finished third on the table, behind China and Russia, with their 34 gold medals, it was Pistorius who dominated the pages and the television screens.

He signed off in emphatic style on Saturday night when he stormed to victory a full 3.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival in the men’s T44 400m final.

Pistorius looked up to the heavens with his arms open wide as he crossed the line in a Paralympic record 46.68 seconds, while the other athletes were still halfway down the home straight.

"It was the last race of the Games and that was the last word," said Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), afterwards.

"Every neutral in the stadium wanted that."

From a South African perspective, Pistorius afforded his country the honour of having the national anthem Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika bring down the curtain to the summer games with his 400m gold medal victory ceremony being the final event.

Having lost his 100m title to Briton Jonnie Peacock and the 200m race to Brazilian Alan Oliveira, Pistorius went into the last event with only the 4x100m relay gold as the only top prize to show for his efforts.

He was never in danger though as Blake Leeper of the US, clocked 50.14 and fellow American David Prince took bronze in 50.61.

"Oscar makes me want to run harder and strive harder," said Leeper looking at the 400m silver in his hand.

"He’s my hero and to be able to run a race with him and to take silver behind him, means a lot to me.

"I only want to get better and hope that one day, when I step onto the track, the crowd yells and roars like that for me.

"Seeing what Oscar has done just inspires me and, hopefully, four or eight years from now, I can be on the same level - he’s just an amazing athlete."

As he capped a remarkable final night at the Olympic Stadium, Pistorius summed up his own feelings.

"This summer has been a dream come true and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better," Pistorius said.

"These have been some of the biggest highlights of my life.

"It was very special to me as it was the last event of my season and the last event of London 2012.

"I just wanted to give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home with them.

"Lord Seb Coe and his team at LOCOG have done the most amazing job at the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Chad on target with 7 medals

2014-07-29 22:30

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    05:59
  • SS7
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Do South Africa's Olympians and Paralympians deserve equal monetary rewards for winning gold, silver and bronze medals in London?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.