South African Olympic sprinter Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius has been one of the most inspiring stories of this Olympics.
Born without fibulas (commonly known as the calf bone), both his legs were amputated below the knee when he was still an infant.
At the age of 17 and with just a few months of training, he won a gold medal at 200 meters in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, also adding silvers in the 400 meters and 100 meters.
Pistorius ran in the men’s 400-meter race in London over the weekend, making history as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympic games.
Although he did not medal, he did make it clear how successful his journey to the Olympics and competing among the other athletes made him feel.
After the race, fellow competitor Kirani James of Grenada turned to Pistorius, hugged him, and then asked to exchange name bibs, a poignant gesture of respect.
Pistorius had come in at 46.54 seconds, .95 of a second behind James, the winner. James said of Pistorius, “He’s very special to our sport. He’s a great individual – it’s time we see him like that and not anything else.”
Pistorius called James a “phenomenal competitor” and said that trading the name bibs was “what the Olympic spirit is all about.”