I was one of those lucky enough to be in the Olympic stadium on 8 September last year to watch Oscar Pistorius win his emotional gold medal in the 400m. Well, it wasn’t entirely luck, I had applied for tickets for that session precisely because I wanted to see him race. It was an incredibly stirring event and one that banished memories of his unseemly tantrum the week before, which I’d also been there to see.
All Olympic and Paralympic athletes are inspiring. The blood sweat and tears, early mornings and lack of booze and chocolate they must endure for years is something most of us don’t have anywhere near the willpower to achieve. But there’s inspiring and then there’s astonishing. Not only is South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius the first double leg amputee to compete in the Olympics, to do it he had to take on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).