South African runner Oscar Pistorius, charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, was the first double-amputee athlete to compete on the track at an Olympics when he ran in the 400 metres and 4x400 relay at the 2012 London Games.

  • Age: 26, born Nov. 22, 1986, in Johannesburg.
  • Hometown: Pretoria.
  • Nationality: South African.
  • Nickname: Blade Runner.
  • Physical disability: Born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect, and had his legs amputated at 11 months.
  • Running career: Started running in 2003 as part of a rehabilitation program after injuring knee while playing rugby for Pretoria Boys High School.
  • First race: On Jan. 28, 2004, Pistorius ran his first competitive race for his school, completing the 100 metres in 11.72 seconds. The Paralympic record at the time was 12.20 seconds.


At his first Paralympics in 2004, Pistorius won gold in the 200 and bronze in the 100. Four years later, he won gold in the 100, 200 and 400. He also won the 400 and 4x400 relay at the 2012 Paralympics, and took silver in the 200.

Able-bodied competition 

Pistorius competed against able-bodied runners in South Africa, but he was banned from running in IAAF events by the sport's governing body. In 2008, he won a court case that allowed him to run in major races, but he failed to run the qualifying time to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

2011 World Championships

Pistorius ran in the 400 and 4x400 relay at the 2011 worlds in Daegu, South Korea. He reached the semifinals in the 400, and helped his team reach the final in the relay. He was dropped from the four-man team for the final, but South Africa finished second and Pistorius was awarded a silver medal for having run in the heats.

2012 Olympics

Pistorius was again on the South African team for the Olympics, running in the 400 and 4x400 relay. He finished second in his opening heat and reached the semifinals, but then finished eighth and was eliminated. In the relay, South Africa was at first knocked out after a collision with Kenya before Pistorius even received the baton to run. But South Africa was later reinstated as a rare ninth team for the final after an appeal disqualified the Kenyans. With Pistorius running the anchor leg in the final, the team finished eighth.