Disadvantaged from the beginning, Oscar Pistorius defied the odds as a paraplegic. Despite losing his feet at just eleven months old from a congenital defect, Pistorius never let that stop him from pursuing his athletic dreams. He was a true underdog story, who everyone was rooting for, experiencing his first major success during the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. The grit and determination that he displayed on the track is what makes his story even more tragic. Going from a gold medalist to convicted killer. The life of Oscar Pistorius is truly mystifying.
ESPN’s 30 for 30 special “The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius” takes a deep dive into the complexity of this super athlete. Following another stellar performance at the 2012 London Paralympics, Pistorius had everything going his way. In November of 2012, he began dating South African model Reeva Steenkamp. There was never significant turmoil within their relationship, however, everything changed on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Pistorius had allegedly mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder hiding in the bathroom and recklessly decided to open fire at the door. He shot at the door four times, tragically killing Steenkamp. It is amazing how quickly someone’s life can fall into a tailspin. As this ignorant mistake cost Pistorius his girlfriend, his fame, his fortune, and put him behind bars.
Dominating the competition at the Paralympic level, Pistorius was able to reach heights that even non-paraplegic athletes could get to. His running numbers were so spectacular that he even qualified for the actual South African Olympic team. Facing off against athletes who have a distinct advantage and still competing with them is truly incredible. He was a man who took a difficult situation and made the best of it. He had it all set up perfectly and threw it away.
Anything can happen to anyone. It does not matter what your story is, the law is what it is. Too many people become successful and let that go to their head. Their glory makes them feel invincible and that is most celebrities’ biggest downfalls. Nobody is above the law and there will always be repercussions for breaking it, no matter their stature.
Hindsight is 20/20, shooting your gun at a bathroom door is an idiotic thing to do. It does not matter who you are or what the situation may be, that is just an irrational action. For a person everyone wanted to see thrive, this is a really unfortunate story with no winners, only losers. Oscar Pistorius’s biggest handicap was never his legs, it was his mind. To find out the full story of Oscar Pistorius, check out ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 feature.