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Blade Runners shares his boat accident story
  • April 9th, 2009


A boating accident last February saw the Paralympic champion, Oscar Pistorius, had his eye socket smashed, most of his face shattered and nearly ended his running career.

But the 22 year old is bouncing back from the accident and is doing a remarkable rehabilitation, targeting a return at next month’s BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.

Oscar Pistorius quoted

Training had been going well so I suggested to a mate that we take a boat out on the Vaal river and relax a bit. It is a narrow river and a lot of the jetties are old and don’t have flotation devices so when the water level is high, as it was that day, they are submerged.

We weren’t going too quickly, probably no more than 30 kph but we hit a pier that was under the water and I was thrown hard onto the steering wheel. I lost a lot of blood and it was pretty scary. My nose sort of peeled open, my orbital socket disintegrated and my nasal cavity broke from my nose to the top of my jaw. I had to be airlifted to hospital and the doctors had to do quite a bit of work.

I’ve still got a bit of pain in my face. I’ve got a piece of plastic under my eye and the doctors say the swelling in my nose will take anything from six to 12 months to go down. I’ve lost about six kilos in the last 12 weeks. That’s a lot of muscle, a lot of physical endurance that I’ll have to build up again.

But in my mind there have never been any barriers for me in sport. I don’t perceive myself as having a disability. I see only my ability.

So while missing five weeks’ training at this time of year is a bad setback I fully intend to be in Manchester. I wouldn’t miss that for the world.


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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