- NAME: Oscar Pistorius
- OCCUPATION: Track and Field Athlete
- BIRTH DATE: November 22, 1986 (Age: 27)
- Did You Know?: Due to a missing fibula in both legs, Oscar Pistorius had his legs amputated below the knees before his first birthday. He went on to become the first amputee Olympic athlete.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Johannesburg, South Africa
- Full Name: Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius
- AKA: Fastest Man on No Legs
- Nickname: "Blade Runner"
- AKA: Oscar Pistorius
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
Best Known For
Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner," is a South African sprint runner who became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics in 2012. In 2013, Pistorius admitted to shooting and killing his girlfriend, South African model Reeva Steenkamp.
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Along the way, Pistorius, who's been nicknamed "Blade Runner" and has been called the "fastest man on no legs," captured three gold medals at the 2011 IPC Athletic World Championships. Two more titles followed, in the 400-meter and 100-meter, at the BT Paralympics World Cup.
In the spring of 2012, Pistorius realized his ultimate dream when he qualified for the 400-meter race at the London Olympics. While he was eventually eliminated in the semifinal round,
he secured his place in history by becoming the first amputee athlete to compete in the Olympics. To mark the occasion, Pistorius flew out his 89-year-old grandmother to watch him race. "It's just an unbelievable experience," Pistorius said shortly after his first Olympic race. "I found myself smiling on the starting blocks, which is very rare."
The track star made headlines of a different kind in February 2013, after his girlfriend, famous South African model Reeva Steenkamp, was found dead at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. According to police, Steenkamp was shot and killed on the morning of February 14, 2013, with bullet wounds to the head and one arm. Pistorius was soon named a suspect in the case.
Five days after Reeva Steenkamp's death, on February 19, 2013, during a hearing at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria, Pistorius admitted to unintentionally shooting Steenkamp at his home on Valentine's Day 2013. He went on to state that he had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder and shot her through a locked bathroom door in the home. Consequently, Pistorious faced a charge of premeditated murder that would result in a mandatory life sentence in the event that a guilty verdict was reached.
Later in February 2013, it was reported that Oscar Pistorius's brother, Carl Pistorius, is facing a homicide charge relating to a 2008 road accident during which a cyclist was killed.
On March 3, 2014, the trial for Pistorius began. In addition to being charged with premeditated murder, Pistorious also faced two separate gun indictments from incidents unrelated to the death of his girlfriend. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. Pistorius claimed that he was frightened in his home at the noise of an unknown intruder, which caused him to shoot at the bathroom door when coupled with his vulnerable state of mind without his prosthetic legs.
The only witness in the trial, Pitorius's neighbor Michelle Burger, testified that she heard a "bloodcurdling" scream from a woman on the night of the murder, followed by a man yelling for help three times. Burger also claimed to have heard gunshots. Prosecuters within the trial accused Pistorius of having argued with Steenkamp on the night of the murder, resulting in her locking herself in the toilet.
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The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games set the stage for fierce competition among the world's top athletes in track and field, boxing, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and basketball, among other sports. Explore Biography.com's list of Olympic 2012 Athletes, from swimmers Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte to javelin-throwing beauty Leryn Franco, to swift track stars Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Sanya Richards-Ross, and more.
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