Peyton L Powell
He was the poster child of the 2012 London Olympic Games, and was also known as the “Blade Runner” during his historic Olympic debut. This man is Oscar Pistorius, and on October 21st, 2013, this South African Track Star turned court room poster child was sentenced for his crimes.
Oscar Pistorius was born on November 22nd, 1986 to parents Henke and Sheila, in Sandton, Johannesburg. Pistorius was born with a condition known as Fibular Hemimelia, which is the absence of the fibula, and at 11 months old he had both legs amputated between his knees and ankles. In school, Oscar played rugby, water polo, tennis, and club wrestling. Pistorius was introduced to running in the year 2004 after a serious knee injury resulting from playing rugby, and “never looked back” according to his coach.
Pistorius’s sporting career took off when he took part in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece where he took the bronze medal in the T44 (single below-knee amputee) 100-metre event, and beating out two single amputee athletes in the 200-metre to win gold, and to set a world record. He went on to make appearances at the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics, where he won three gold medals. Then at the 2012 Summer Olympic games, he became the first amputee runner to compete in a non-Paralympic game, but unfortunately due to a teammates injury, and the 4×400 not qualifying for the finals, he was unable to win an Olympic medal. Pistorius followed up the devastating Olympic loss with 2 gold medals from the 2012 Paralympic games.
Less than a year later, Pistorius was in the news once again, but this time it was for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14th, in his Pretoria home. Steenkamp was shot four times by Pistorius, which he admitted to, but he said that he believed that the person he was shooting at in the bathroom was an intruder and not Steenkamp.
His murder trial began on March 3rd, 2014, and on September 12th he was found not guilty on the charge of murder, and guilty on the charge of culpable homicide, illegal killing of a person with or without an intention to kill. But on this day, exactly three years ago, Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to the maximum five years for the charge of culpable homicide, and a concurrent 3-year suspended prison term for other reckless endangerment convictions.
Oscar was released from prison on October 19th, 2015, after only serving one-sixth of his sentence, but he remained on house arrest due to his case going through the house of appeals. Pistorius’s original culpable homicide charge was then replaced with a full murder conviction, after the five judges found that he knew exactly that he would be killing someone when he fired those four shots out of the high caliber gu
n. He was then resentenced to six years in prison in 2016 for his new charge of murder, and will be eligible for parole in 2019, after serving only 3 years of his sentence.
In a matter of a couple of months, someone’s life can go to an extreme career high, and then go to an all-time low, and no one knows that better than Oscar Pistorius. Due to this one mistake that he says happened in different ways, his life will forever be changed, and October 21st will forever be a day he will never forget.