Oscar Pistorius was born without a fibular - the long bone which runs from the knee to the ankle. Both of his legs were amputated at 11 months old.
As a young boy he began to specialise in athletics when he discovered that the rough and tumble of schoolboy rugby did too much damage to his prosthetic legs. His potential was immediately clear. In a high school race, he ran the 100 metres faster than the Paralympic record. Soon he was winning medals, including gold in the 200 metres at the Athens Paralympics in 2004.
Four years later, the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed him to compete against the best able-bodied athletes at the Olympics. Some athletes objected to the decision, believing that his cheetah-like limbs give him an unfair advantage.
But despite his opponents, Pistorius has certainly won over his country. At home in South Africa, his dedication and good looks have turned him into the country's answer to David Beckham. He is just as likely to be seen on the front of South Africa's fashion magazines as he is the sports supplements. In 2011 the local edition of 'GQ' named him 'Man of the Year'.
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