Oscar wins prestigious award

2012-02-06 22:39

London - South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, the athlete known as the ‘Blade Runner’ because he runs on carbon fibre blades, has won the 2012 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.

In 2011, Pistorius became the first amputee to win a non-disabled World Championship track medal, as a member of the South African silver medal winning 4 x 400 metres relay team, in Daegu, South Korea.

His desire to bridge the gap between disabled and non-disabled sport became reality in Daegu. Now his goal is to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games here.

“This is just a great privilege to be nominated, it is really humbling to be here," an elated Pistorius said after receiving the Laureus Statuette from Spanish actress Elsa Pataky and skateboard legend Tony Hawk in the globally televised Awards Ceremony.

"To all the Laureus Academy Members, all you guys and icons who a lot of us still competing look up to, thank you very much,"

The Laureus World Sports Awards are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar. The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 47 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time.

Laureus Academy Member Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Olympic Games Organising Committee, said: “I only realised the impact that Oscar has made on Olympic and Paralympic sport when I witnessed him in Trafalgar Square during the course of the summer.

"We celebrated International Paralympic Day in London and when Oscar gave his demonstration on a 60 metre stretch of tartan in front of the National Gallery, there were kids of all ages lining up wanting his autograph, pressing their noses to the barriers to get a glimpse of him.

"I suddenly realised this is a guy that really has made a massive impact in international sport. I think what Oscar has done is to really make us challenge our own orthodoxies, our own views about disability.”

And Laureus Chairman Edwin Moses said: “Oscar is a remarkable human being. One of the most impressive people I have ever met. When you think of the challenges he has faced in his life and overcome and gone on to break new ground, you can only be impressed.

"And he is now also a Laureus Ambassador and has shown his determination to support the cause of sport for good. I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”

Pistorius, aged 25, was born with a congenital absence of the fibula and his legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11-months-old. He runs with the aid of carbon fibre blades.

With his 400 metres time of 45.07 seconds in July, he achieved the qualifying standard for the World Championships and was selected for the South Africa team.

He took part in the individual 400 metres in Daegu and reached the semi-finals before being eliminated after running a time of 46.19 seconds. In the relay, he took part in the heats, which secured his silver medal, although he was not chosen for the final.

The awards were announced in seven categories.

The full list of winners:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Vivian Cheruiyot
Laureus World Team of the Year: FC Barcelona
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Rory McIlroy
Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Darren Clarke
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Oscar Pistorius
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Kelly Slater

There were two additional Awards: The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to England football legend Bobby Charlton, while Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira, the former Brazilian footballer, now social justice campaigner, won the Laureus Sport for Good Award.


  • Shoosh - 2012-02-06 23:01

    Congrats Oscar, making us proud of your achievements in overcoming your handicap.

      Dhirshan - 2012-02-07 08:34

      lol all blacks didn't win team of the year too, great times !!!

  • Marius Koen - 2012-02-06 23:49

    Well done. You deserve it.

  • Peter - 2012-02-07 02:46

    Oscar, you're the kind of hero South Africa needs. And I sincerely hope that what you have between your legs compensates for the lack of them in a whole and completed way. The photos aren't shy about showing us, and I trust that you're actively proud. Small wonder you've become an international male-symbol. No - make that 'Big Wonder.' God bless your inspired example of honest masculinity at every level. We lesser guys need to aspire to targets, and you raise the bar for us.

      Norma - 2012-02-07 08:48

      Wonderful comment! Beautifully written and much enjoyed!

  • Irene - 2012-02-07 04:35

    Congratulations Oscar !! Well done, may you go to even greater things !

  • jandreleroux - 2012-02-07 04:53

    Yippee! Oscar is n yster! HE is such an example to each one of us. We can all learn from him and make so much more with what we have than we do now! Goooooooooooo Bladerunner! (You just see sparks as he corners!)

  • Anthony - 2012-02-07 06:05

    well done young man.

  • markwmilligan - 2012-02-07 06:18

    Well done Oscar. Next stop Olympics.

  • Anneleen - 2012-02-07 06:42

    well done achievement well deserved! May your career go just stronger from here and thanks for keeping SA''s name right up there!

  • Wessel - 2012-02-07 07:10

    I always tell myself and my sons...look left or right of you and you will always see an individual worse of than yourself but they are still trying and going forward...Oscar with you its a case of looking straight ahead and saying to oneself..."I want to achieve just like Oscar" are truly an inspiration of how to celebrate what the Lord has given you!

  • Hannetjie - 2012-02-07 07:19

    Well done to Oscar, you are an inspiration to thousands of abled and disabled body people! You and Natalie du Toit are true athletes who don't let anything become a stumbling block.Good luck for qualifying form the 2012 Olympics!!!!!

  • Herman - 2012-02-07 07:21

    Lekker jou yster!

  • Norma - 2012-02-07 08:45

    Fantastic news! Congrats Oscar! What an inspiration you are to all sportsmen and women around the world! All sports lovers salute you and rejoice with you today and always!!

  • Lida - 2012-02-07 09:17

    Well done Oscar. You and Natalie Du tiot are an inspiration for all.

  • nola.richveldman - 2012-02-07 11:19

    I think that someone needs a refund on his/her school fees for English. I think the award should read "2012 Laureus World Disabled Sportsperson of the Year Award". A Year cannot have a Disability.

  • Tim - 2012-02-07 12:01

    Congrats Oscar - A well deserved award

  • ditantane.kganakga - 2012-02-07 12:25

    Congratulations Oscar, one would do with something positive for this country.

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