Hot Off the Press – Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail

Cue back to September 8th 2012 at the Olympic Stadium. I am bursting for the toilet, leaning forward to the edge of my stadium seat waiting for the powerful but poignant sound of a gunshot to be let off. The arena, of 80,000 willing spectators is now silent. Thousands of eyes focused on one man in green and gold, poised to do what only he can do.

 It is the T44 400m final. Having recorded a fantastic qualifying time already, that man Oscar Pistorius is the sure favourite to do it all again, as he did in Beijing.

46.68 seconds later, I have a new hero. It is that man from South Africa, and his determination and tenacity to blow everyone else out the water was astounding.

At this point it was all about Oscar. I was able to go to the toilet knowing that my expectations were fulfilled and my lasting memories of the Paralympics would be all about Oscar.

Everything for me was about Oscar. Prior to his Paralympic efforts, Oscar had become the first to take part in both the Paralympics and the Olympics. All the campaigns were about his story and his achievements. After so many years of a stigma towards disabilities, Oscar, almost singlehandedly, had transformed this, and made it cool.   

Go to around 5 months later, and that same location where he gave up his life to become a 6-time Paralympic champion, Oscar Pistorius is now charged with the shooting and murder of his girlfriend in a Pretoria Court.

Valentine’s Day 2013 is one that I will never forget. Not because of any kind of romance, but because my hero of the Summer is perhaps a murderer.

I will not go into the ins and outs of the trial as I do not feel it is right. After all his status or anything else, someone has lost a life, due to his actions that night.

Heroes seem hard to come by. Prior to his outing as a drugs cheat, Cyclist Lance Armstrong for me represented all the qualities a person, let alone a sportsperson needs. With 7 Tour De France titles to his name and his overcoming of Cancer, it was later none that everything he represented in Cycling was a lie.

In the case of Pistorius, whether he is found guilty or not, he has still shot and killed someone. As I write this, the case is at the point where a decision is being made to determine whether Oscar Pistorius is to be granted bail or not. Magistrate Nair has taken what seems a lifetime and the decision has been made to Grant Oscar Pistorius Bail.

For me however, I personally only have the memory at the moment that the man in the green and gold with prosthetic legs is not my hero Oscar Pistorius. He is the killer of a young woman in South Africa; the place where everyone loved him, like those around the world. Only time will tell after this first step in the court case what the outcome will be.   

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