By Eli Cohen
You may have heard in the news lately about the meteor in Russia or the cruise ship that got stuck in the middle of the ocean for a week, but how many times have you seen Oscar Pistorius’s face flash across the evening news? How many of you even know who he is? Well, Oscar Pistorius is a world – renowned South African sprinter. He’s won over 20 gold medals in categories 100, 200, 400, 4 x 100, and 4 x 400 meter dash. In case you couldn’t tell, he’s a very fast guy. He’d probably beat you in a race, but here’s the catch, he doesn’t have any legs!
Oscar had his legs amputated from the knee down when he was 11. Running though, has always been his passion, so when he got older he put on some prosthetics and became a professional athlete. He was a participant in numerous Paralympics (Olympics for the physically disabled) and in the summer he became the first para-athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. He set the world record for the fastest time to complete the 100 meter dash in the Paralympics with a time of 10.91 seconds. He is considered by many sources, including Time magazine, to be one of the most influential people in the world. He became the darling of the Olympic Games, his story warming the hearts of viewers all over the world. Though he did not make the finals in his event, his appearance in the Games was considered one of the greatest athletic triumphs of 2012.
But recently, Oscar’s name has been affiliated with anything but a happy headline. On February 14th, 2013, Pistorius’ girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was shot and killed at his home. Oscar was immediately taken into police custody and charged with murder the next day. Reeva was a South African model and television star. She had been dating Pistorius since November 2012. According to Skeenkamp’s Wikipedia page, at the time of her death, “Steenkamp was signed up to appear on season five of the reality TV show ‘Tropika Island of Treasure’ and had filmed the series episodes on location in Jamaica. The screening of the series began airing as scheduled on 16 February 2013, two days after her death. The first episode of the series was dedicated to Steenkamp and was preceded by a video tribute to her. Whether or not the show has taken a hiatus is unknown” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeva_Steenkamp).
At the scene of the crime, evidence found was several bullet casings, a bloodied rug, a bloodied cricket bat, and torn sheets in the bedroom. There was blood, more casings, and the body was found in the locked bathroom. Oscar’s story is that he woke up in the middle of the night, put on his legs and got out of bed. He then fired four shots into the locked bathroom door (three of which hit Reeva) killing her, believing there was an intruder in his home. He said he believed Steenkamp was in the bed with him. But forensic reports show that there are flaws in his story. These reports as well as accounts from neighbors paint a different picture– he and Steenkamp got into an argument and in a rage, he shot her in their bedroom. She then ran to the bathroom and locked the door. Oscar pursued her, shot through the door several times, and finally killed her. It is also speculated that the cricket bat was used by Reeva to in self defense. Horrifyingly, when Oscar was given a toxicology test the night of the murder, the results showed he had steroids in his system.
On February 22nd, at a court hearing, Oscar Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder and had a bail set to 1 million Rand ($113,000) which he was able to pay. He will be facing a judge on June 4th, 2013. Personally, I think he’s guilty. It’s not looking to well in the eyes of the public either, since he was charged with assault on a woman in 2009, but the charges were later dropped. He just made a stupid mistake that cost the life of a woman that will be missed. What do you think?