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Oscar Pistorius: from track to murder trial

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Oscar Pistorius: from track to murder trial


The South African paralympic multiple gold-medal-winner Oscar Pistorius was the first both-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics.

Born in 1986, fibula bones absent, his legs were amputated between knee and ankle when he was 11 months old. As he grew up, he played rugby, water polo and tennis, and wrestled.

Then he made a switch, was dubbed ‘Blade Runner’, and won a Paralympics Gold in Athens in 2004.

He ran the 400-metre semi-finals at the London Olympics in 2012, after an official ruling that his prosthetics did not give him a net advantage.

A few months later, however, he shot dead his girlfriend, through the closed door of a toilet cubicle at his home in Pretoria, during the night of Valentines Day, February 14th.

South African model Reeva Steenkamp was 29. He was 26.

Pistorius fired his 9mm pistol four times. Throughout his trial, he said he thought he was firing at an intruder. The prosecution maintained he fired intentionally at Steenkamp.

The two families and the accused felt the full glare of the media. He broke down several times.

While he was giving testimony in spring this year, he said: “I flung the door open and I sat over Reeva and I cried, I don’t how long. She wasn’t breathing.”

Another time during the trial, video was played of the accused firing a weapon at a watermelon and laughing as if in glee.

The prosecutor Gerrie Nel, nicknamed ‘the pit bull’, said Pistorius killing Steenkamp was no accident, but that ‘he blew out her brains’ in anger.

Pistorius was put through psychiatric tests in June, after the defence suggested anxiety that dated from his childhood had played a role. The result was that four experts said he was not suffering from a mental illness when he killed his girlfriend.

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