Olympic amputee 'Blade Runner' inspires wounded warriors
Disabled veterans say they're inspired by Oscar Pistorius, a South African double amputee who will compete in the 400 meter track event at the London Olympics, according to a USA Today report.
Pistorius -- nicknamed "Blade Runner" because he uses prosthetic blades made of layers of carbon fiber -- is the first amputee to compete in Olympic track.
"Oscar's running in the Olympics is a seminal moment," Kirk Bauer, executive director of Disabled Sports USA, told USA Today. Bauer, a 64-year-old Vietnam War veteran, lost his left leg serving in the Army in 1969. "It really shows how far physically challenged people have come. This is nothing short of revolutionary."
Pistorius, 25, was born without fibulas, and his legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, the newspaper said. He was banned from the Olympics and World Championships prior to 2008 for fear his carbon legs would give him an unfair advantage, but he successfully appealed the ban.
Prosthetic legs like the kind Pistorius uses are helping wounded servicemembers walk, run, climb mountains and even return to combat.
"It's awesome what he's been doing," Marine Cpl. Jeff Kessler, a double amputee learning to use carbon legs, told USA Today. "He's an inspiration."
Source: USA Today