- (Photo: Twitter/Oscar Pistorius)
Oscar Pistorius is headed to London to represent South Africa in the Olympics this fall. The double-amputee is the first amputee track athlete to compete after being selected by South Africa's Olympic committee.
"Today is really one of the happiest days of my life! Will be in @London2012 for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games!" Pistorius tweeted. "Thank you to everyone that has made me the athlete I am! God, family and friends, my competitors and supporters! You have all had a hand!"
Pistorius is only 25 and was born without a fibula, the bone connecting the knee joint and ankle, in each leg. His parents opted to amputate both of his legs and Pistorius learned to adapt, receiving his first set of prosthetic legs six months after the amputation.
He began playing sports in school, including water polo, rugby, tennis, wrestling and cricket. But his love of running led him to compete in triathlons, and when he shattered his knee, Pistorius began running exclusively on the track and working with Ampie Louw of the University of Pretoria.
His running ability led him to numerous title wins and brought him great attention throughout South Africa. According to South Africa's Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam, Pistorius was not given any preferential treatment when he was selected, and has rebuked any claims he has only been included because he was a double amputee.
"As I have said many times before, we are not taking passengers to London," Sam told the press. "Everyone has met selection criteria and are genuine Olympic Games material, either now or for 2016. I wish them all the best."
Fans are already voicing their support for Pistorius as he seeks to break records and become a legend.
"An historic day with Oscar Pistorius confirmed in SA Olympic as well as Paralympic team. Get ready for one of the iconic images of the Games," tweeted Orla Chennaoui.
"Big congratulations to Oscar Pistorius, who will compete in both the 400m and 4x400m at London 2012," added ESPN UK.