I can’t help but feel delighted about Oscar Pistorius’s victory in the Men’s 400m T44 Final last night. I actually confess to feeling nervous before the start, which is when I realised how much I personally wanted him to win.
The original “Blade Runner” has been such a fantastic ambassador for the Paralympic movement and a wonderful and inspirational role model for disabled athletes generally. His outburst following his defeat in the 200m was badly timed the rights or wrongs of his complaint notwithstanding but he admitted his mistake and was gracious in defeat to Jonnie Peacock who, like so many others, has always hailed Oscar Pistorius as a sporting hero.
His battle to compete on the Olympics has been long and, I’m sure, emotionally draining but as with so much in his life, he persevered and he got there. He may not have won despite worrying a few of the able-bodied athletes, but the victory was in competing at all – a fantastic achievement and, again, an inspiration for so many others. He has opened doors to a new outlook.
It seemed only right and fitting that this Paralympic superstar, the Uber-cool Mr. Pistorius (voted the sexiest man in South Africa, I gather!) should finish the 400m in such convincing style and that his victory lap should be the last image of the London 2012 Athletics.