The Bionic Olympian Races with 5-Year-Old with No Hands and Feet
In newly discovered photos from the last Olympics, South African sprinter Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorious was seen racing a 5-year-old girl who lost her hands and lower legs to meningitis.
25-year-old Pistorious’ legs were amputated when he was 11-months-old and doctors discovered he had no fibulas. For Ellie May Challis, her disability follows a similar story, as the little girl lost her hands and lower legs at 16-months, after she contracted meningitis.
The photos resurfaced after Pistorious made history in this year’s London Olympics. The bionic Olympian was finally cleared to participate in the 400-meter race, reversing the initial ban due to the “unfair”, but unproven advantage from his Flex Foot prosthetics.
Despite his amazing time (46.54 seconds), Pistorious did not qualify for the finals, but was only 2 seconds slower than the incumbent champion Kirani James of Grenada.
“I just see him as another athlete, another competitor,” James said as he exchanged bib numbers with Pistorious at the end of the race. “What’s more important is I see him as another person. He’s someone I admire and respect.”
“Hearing the roar of the crowd and knowing that there were so many people behind me just made it that much more enjoyable,” Pistorious also said in a recent interview.
As for little Ellie, Pistorious proves that her Olympic dreams aren’t too far behind. Ellie was the youngest person to be fitted with more sophisticated carbon fiber prosthetics (thanks to combined donations reaching $15,000). In fact, the little girl recently participated in local 15-meter races in North London, besting the champion sprinter in all four races.