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Olympic Moment for the Ages: Double Amputee Oscar Pistorius Competes in the 400m

The 25-year-old qualified for the semifinal, finishing second in his heat.

November 2012 |

The men's 400m heats on Saturday morning provided the London 2012 Olympics with one of its most inspiring moments thus far.

South African Oscar Pistorious, who is a double amputee, not only competed but also went through to the semifinal of the competition after he finished second in a time of 45:44.

Pistorious' road to the Olympics has been a long one, but he made the most of his debut on the biggest stage of all. The first man ever to take part in the Paralympics and Olympics spoke to NBC's Lewis Johnson after the race.

"It was always a huge goal of mine in the last six years to be out here, but when you are finally here there is another job to do. I was just so happy that all the guidance from my team has paid off and I can perform on the days when it matters."

Pistorious cruised in the last 50 meters, and he went on to say that he glanced at the big screen and decided to ease back and save energy for Sunday's semifinal.

The 25-year-old was born with a condition called fibular hemimelia, which means he had no fibulae, and he had a double amputation when he was a baby.

While the debate about whether the blades he wears give him an advantage continues, there can be no argument about the spirit and determination that Pistorious has shown in making his Olympic dream a reality.

Simply put, in terms of not letting obstacles get in his way, this guy is the real deal. And he is not done yet! As well as the 400m semifinal, Pistorious also has the 4x400m relay to look forward to.

He won't break any medal records, but his performances at these Games will go a long way to breaking down barriers, and sometimes that is as, if not more, important than winning a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Oscar Pistorious, we say more power to you! Click here to watch his race.

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