He's a world record holding sprinter from South Africa. She's a spunky 5-year-old from Essex, England. In an inspiring series of images that have recently gone viral, the two strangers, united only by a stubborn refusal to let double amputations stop them, race each other in a friendly bionic foot race.
Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorious, 25, was just 11 months old when doctors discovered he had no fibulas, requiring below-the-knee amputations of both his legs. Ellie May Challis lost both her hands and legs at 16 months, after contracting a severe case of meningitis.
Although Ellie was originally fitted with standard prosthetics, the toddler found them difficult to walk with. More sophisticated carbon fiber legs -- the kind worn by Pistorious -- were expensive, but Ellie's community rallied behind her, raising the $15,000 needed for the replacements. In 2009, the 5-year-old became the youngest person ever to be fitted with carbon fiber prostheses.
Held at an indoor track in Enfield, North London, little Ellie actually bested the champion sprinter in all four of their 15-meter races, to the cheers of her twin sister Sophie, and older siblings Taila and Connor.
In a historic announcement, Pistorious, who runs using special Cheetah Flex Footlimbs, was granted permission to race in the London 2012 Olympic Games,reversing a ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The International Association of Athletics had ruled Pistorious could not compete in the games because his Flex Foot limbs represented an unfair advantage. However, the Court reviewed evidence from two new (and conflicting) studies before making its ruling in favor of Pistorious.
Pistorious qualified for the semifinal heat of the 400 meter race on Sunday, but failed to qualify for the finals. His time, 46.54 seconds, was two seconds slower than the heat's winner, reigning world champion Kirani James of Grenada. In a show of respect and sportsmanship, James embraced Pistorious after the race and asked to exchange bib numbers.
"I just see him as another athlete, another competitor," James told reporters the day before the semifinal. "What's more important is I see him as another person. He's someone I admire and respect."
For his part, in an interview on the TODAY show, Pistorious said he willcherish his Olympic memories for "the rest of [his] life." As his 89-year-old grandmother watched from the stands, Pistorious said, "Hearing the roar of the crowd and knowing that there were so many people behind me just made it that much more enjoyable.
Check out more adorable photos of Ellie and Oscar Pistorius below:
This article is reprinted with permission from the Huffington Post's Good News Channel. More from them: Man Who Was Given 14 Days To Live Climbs The World's 7 Highest Peaks A Ugandan Teen's Incredible Journey From A Village School To Harvard 10-Year-Old Invents Groundbreaking Video Game For The Visually Disabled
Very inspiring and at the same time hear touching. It reminds us that hope is the greatest attribute that humans live by and we should be people who offer that hope to others.
1 reply: Mishaboom | Post Your Reply
You could see in these pictures that Oscar not ony made Ellie very happy but he also felt the happiness that her beautiful smile gave him.
God bless both of them, they are an inspiration to the human race.
1 reply: Margopittsburg | Post Your Reply
Ok, I have a man crush on Oscar, this is how a man should act. He has a good head on his shoulders, and a decent heart. I have told my wife Oscar is my main man....
Mr. Pistorius, I imagine the gold and golden memory you gave that little girl will remain close to her for the rest of her life. Good man! Nice to wake up on Sunday morning to a story like that, it's going to be a good day!
This man is a very special person and so is Ellie. I pray they will both realize all that they can. Pistorius touched my heart and I doubt I will ever forget him.
REALLY nice to know there are truly good people left in the world!
2 replies: Commdoc, Lisofby | Post Your Reply
My mother used to hush us when we begged for stuff we couldn't afford and really didn't need by saying, "I used to complain that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." Be thankful for what you have, and praise those who don't allow anything to stop them.
What a beautiful story from such a difficult beginning. Great people. God Bless them both.
1 reply: Lisofby | Post Your Reply
congratulations for your awesome courage and perseverence!"Challenges are what make Life
interesting.overcoming them is what makes Life meaningful" –Joshua J.Marion
It takes stories like this to remind me and i'm sure a lot of others that majority of the things we whine about are really not important. Lovely story!
Inspiring! Persistence pays off! "What's more important, I see him as another person. Someone I admire and respect." INDEED, let us all strive to see others as PEOPLE first. That would solve so many problems. I strive to do this through storytelling. One by one if we all listened to each others stories, the misunderstanding, misperceptions, judgement, would fall away. What a wonderful world it Can be. Thank you for sharing the story! Kristin
On Dec 18, 2012 Mr. Nice guy wrote:
very inspiring story...
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