BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

Sport

Last Updated: Saturday April 15 2006 11:18 GMT

Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius

Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius won gold in the 200 metres in Athens in 2004, smashing the world record in the process.

Then he grabbed golds in both the 100 and 200 metre races at last year's Paralympic World Cup.

He told Sportsround why he might soon be appearing in able-bodied sports.


What opportunities were there for you as a young disabled athlete in South Africa?

When I grew up I was BMX-ing, a bit of Motocross, I played professional tennis, water polo, and then rugby, and athletics.

You've been running just over two years, and already you've got your hands on two gold medals. It's been a fantastic rise to fame for you.

Yeah, it's been quite quick. I started off in January 2004, and in March I was South Africa champ, and then I went to America two months later, and then three months later it was Athens, and then five months later it was the Paralympic World Cup. Everything's happened quite quickly, and it's been quite good.

The prosthetic legs you wear for running aren't usual looking. You must have been pretty brave to wear them for the first time and run really fast.

Oscar Pistorius
Oscar attaches his legs
We started making them in South Africa. They were really different - the balance on them is totally different, they don't have a heel. To get used to them is a bit of a different one. But after two or three weeks you get used to it.

What's the feeling like when you run on them?

I'm not really sure how to compare - I've never had legs! I guess it feels normal. It feels good. They're a bit lighter than the ones I walk in, and they're just basically better legs. You have to remember you're running on them, because you could put your foot down too soon and trip or too late and you fly over it.

You've now been invited to run alongside able-bodied athletes in 2008. Would a perfect year for you be the Paralympics and the Olympics?

It'll be quite soon. I'll be 21 then and I'm aiming to run in the able-bodied Olympics in the 400 metres. I'm working towards that now.

You're becoming so good and so fast now that some people are claiming the legs give you an unfair advantage.

There has been a lot of speculation, and a lot of people have claimed stuff, but at the end of the day nobody's had any backing to support their arguments. From an athlete's point of view, you don't want to waste your time with the politics. If somebody makes a comment, they should have something to back it, that's our argument.

What are your hopes for May here in Manchester at the Paralympic World Cup?

I want to better my times. There's always a bit of a difference running in the northern hemisphere in the cold, but I'm looking forward to it.





BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy