Legless Sprinter Doesn’t Need Legs To Slam Doors

For years, South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been trying to prove that he can compete at the highest levels of sports. He fought his ban from track and field and won the right to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, though he didn’t qualify for the games. He’s been accused of unfairly gaining an advantage over the competition not with steroids or blood doping, but because Pistorius has no legs.

Oscar Pistorius

It’s a heartwarming story that’s been told and retold many times over the past several years, and many people were hoping that a Paralympic athlete could indeed prove he could compete at the pinnacle of his sport. But as it turns out, competing in “regular” track and field events isn’t the only way Pistorius is trying to be a mainstream athlete. Unfortunately, he apparently picked up on the whole “hitting women” thing too.

Because I read the Australian sports sections so you don’t have to, I ran across this on ABC NEWS (that’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation, mate):

Sergeant Miranda Stoltz told South Africa’s eTV that Pistorius, who spent the night in jail after the arrest on Saturday, was due to appear in court soon.

He was first arrested for assault after slamming a door on a woman, but police later changed the charge to common assault, Sergeant Stoltz said, adding that his family and friends claim it was just an accident.

I’ve had doors accidentally slammed on me. I’ve accidentally slammed doors on people. It hurts like a sonofabitch, but never once have I considered having that person (or myself) thrown in the slammer for it. Maybe she fell into a lamp, too, while she was at it? That seems to be a more common WAG excuse for turning up with bruises, from what I’ve heard.

The world - especially the disabled world - was pulling for Pistorius to make history with his prosthetic legs. But this may serve (may serve) as a cautionary tale once again about the dangers of deifying athletes. Just because someone’s a hard luck story doesn’t mean they’re an angel. Hopefully, though, sometimes a slammed door is just a slammed door.