Pistorious Gets to Run

It looks like the double amputee sprinter may get a chance to run in the Olympics after all:

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius won his appeal Friday and can compete for a place in the Beijing Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the 21-year-old South African is eligible to race against able-bodied athletes, overturning a ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

CAS said the unanimous ruling goes into effect immediately.

“I am ecstatic,” Pistorius told reporters in Milan, Italy. “When I found out, I cried. It is a battle that has been going on for far too long. It’s a great day for sport. I think this day is going to go down in history for the equality of disabled people.”

Despite the ruling he still has an uphill climb. He’s been focusing heavily on his appeal and hasn’t been training as much:

“A lot of the time we’ve had this year we’ve devoted to the court case,” Pistorius said. “Now when I get home, my time can be dedicated to training. I am going to have to start thinking about getting my body in shape in order to run those [qualifying] times. I am hopeful there will be enough time but it is going to be very difficult.

His other chance would be to make the South African relay team, which wouldn’t require him to run the Olympic qualifying time, which he hasn’t gotten yet.

This is great news. Pistorious is an inspiration to people all over the world and the IAAF’s contention that the blades he uses to run are somehow an advantage, despite the fact that he has no legs below the knee, defied logic. I’ll be glad to see Pistorious get a chance to run for the Olympics.

This E:60 feature on Pistorious is about the best overview of his situation I have seen.

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