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Pistorius inspiring US war vets

2012-08-03 14:34
Oscar Pistorius (File)

Oscar Pistorius pays tribute to South African team-mate and Olympic swimming gold medalist Chad le Clos. Watch.

Cape Town - Oscar Pistorius's road to the Olympics is inspiring injured American servicemen to get moving again, a report says.

The "Blade Runner", as he is called for his two prostheses - will be the first amputee to ever compete in Olympic track, fulfilling his lifelong dream.

"It's awesome what he's been doing," Marine Corporal Jeff Kessler told USA Today. "He's an inspiration."

Kessler lost both his legs last year when he was deployed to Afghanistan.

"I want to be able to run after my sons and take part in a normal life with my family," he said.

"Oscar's running in the Olympics is a seminal moment," says Kirk Bauer, a war veteran who lost both his legs in the Vietnam War. "It really shows how far physically challenged people have come. This is nothing short of revolutionary."

Of the 1.6 million Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans, 45% veterans have sought compensation for service-related wounds, injuries or illnesses, the report says.

Pistorius was born in 1986 without fibulas in both legs. His parents had both his legs amputated below the knee when he was 11-months-old and prostheses were fitted a few months later.

Pistorius naturally excelled as an athlete and obtained various medals in several Paralympic Games for South Africa, winning gold in the 100, 200 and 400m in 2008. He also intends to compete in this year's Paralympics from 29 August to 9 September.


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