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Oscar and co may yet strike gold at Games

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ON THE morning of August 4, Pretoria-based Oscar Pistorius will be the talk of London town when he walks out on to Olympic Stadium to become the first double amputee to take part in the Summer Games.

He will bounce gently on his carbon prosthetics, the replacement legs that have made him a hero to millions and given others reason to accuse him of having an advantage over able-bodied athletes.

That is a battle he has already fought and won in the courts, and while Oscar must know there will always be doubters, he and those millions are believers.

Oscar has always wanted to be treated as just another athlete, but that can never be.

He represents more than sport; he represents, along with all the other Paralympians, a hammer blow to the notion that there are goals beyond reason and reach.

Disabled is as disabled does, as Forrest Gump never said, and Oscar does not subscribe to the able-bodied concept of being disabled.

The decision by the SA Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to grant Athletics SA’s request that the city lad be allowed to run in the 400m as an individual athlete is sensible and practical.

It will also put SA in the spotlight at the Olympics.

The presence of Oscar will lift the national team burdened by the failure of 2008.

Bringing back 12 medals from the 2012 Games seemed a difficult but reachable target when Sascoc president Gideon Sam launched it after Beijing.

It has seemed less likely as the games have come closer, with inconsistent and sometimes indifferent form from the members of Team SA.

And yet, the Olympics can throw up the most delightful of surprises and the most extraordinary performances.

The Awesome Foursome showed that in the 4x100m freestyle in 2004.

Team SA could yet surprise the nation.


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