oscar pistorius reaching for ultimate greatness despite his disability

Oscar Pistorius – Reaching for Ultimate Greatness Despite his Disability!

oscarIn November 1986, in Johannesburg, South Africa, a boy was born with deformed legs. Because of the deformity, the boy’s parents had to have his lower legs amputated. The boy was fitted with prosthetics 6 months later, and after that he was off and running, literally! The boy’s name? Oscar Pistorius.

Because Oscar lost his lower legs as an infant, he grew up never knowing anything different. And Oscar’s parents were determined that he should live a normal life and participate in the sports he and his family loved. As such, Oscar learned early on how to train his body to best work with his prosthetics, and the results have been phenomenal. After trying numerous sports, Oscar took up running in 2004, and within months he was competing in the Paralympics as one of its fastest sprinters. In fact, Oscar is so fast that he qualified for the 2012 London Olympics! In these Olympics, although Oscar did not medal, he did make history as the first double amputee ever to compete in the Olympics. And best of all, Oscar’s strength and determination in the face of great odds inspired millions as they pursue their own dreams!

In this video, Oscar talks about how he has developed his amazing running ability.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article that describes the great impact Oscar Pistorius is making.
  • Here is another IMK post about an incredibly inspirational amputee athlete.

Topics for Discussion:

  • How do you think the attitude of Oscar’s family has helped him achieve his running success?
  • Why do you think it’s important to Oscar to compete in not just the Paralympics but the Olympics as well?

Take Action:

  • Visit Oscar’s website to learn more about him and his inspirational story and to get involved in the great things he stands for.
  • Visit the Athletes with Disabilities Network website to learn about other disabled athletes and how you can help support them.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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