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The fall of Oscar Pistorius

6

February 15, 2013 by thedavidryan

The Blader Runner’s success has ran out.

Oscar Pistorius has many titles – Blade Runner, World Record Holder, Olympic hero and now, alleged murderer.

Oscar PistoriousIn the early hours of Thursday morning, Pistorius allegedly fired four bullets into his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp’s head, chest and arm at his home in the South African capital, Pretoria.

Pistorius, 26, spent Thursday night in custody and was subject to blood-alcohol, DNA and other tests, as forensics experts continued to work at the crime scene at his home in an upmarket gated estate. While this investigation and probable prison sentencing is due to get underway, there is no better time to look at how this catastrophic event will affect the legacy of The Fastest Man on No Legs.

Prison

Kind of obvious but if you murder someone then 99.9% of the time, whether you’re famous or not, you will go to jail. The interesting thing here will be the length of the sentence Pistorius will serve. While he has allegedly gunned down his girlfriend in cold blood, he is still one of South Africa’s most celebrated exports and their most decorated Paralympian. The question remains, will past glory be in his favour when the judge brings the hammer down upon sentencing?

Stripped of honours

World champion cyclist Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of all of his Tour de France titles after being exposed as a drugs cheat. It would hardly be surprising if the official Paralympic governing body decided to strip the former sprint victor of all accolades and accomplishments if he were to be convicted.

Hero to villain

Oscar Pistorius was treated like a king in both his native South Africa and around the world for his heroic sporting achievements. He was an inspiration to billions of disabled people who adored him and for everything he had done for his sport. Now, he is public enemy number one after taking the life of his beloved girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. The love the public once had for him has now quickly turned to hate as their once great champion is now a fallen criminal.

Loss of endorsements

Undoubtedly, The Blade Runner is the face of modern Paralympics. Therefore with being such a sporting megastar, a number of lucrative endorsement deals have come his way. Global brands such as Nike, BT and Oakley are all current sponsors of the Paralympic idol and it won’t be long before all three will want to drop their deals and distance themselves as far away as possible from this whole incident.

Without a doubt it is Nike who will suffer the biggest commercial blow, as they have recently had to drop another disgraced athlete in Lane Armstrong, due to years of doping in the Tour de France. Nike has made Pistorius a global superstar with their funding and advertising campaigns, including a recent advertisement which has had to be pulled due to its now horrifyingly ironic message.

Oscar Pistorius Nike

Tarnished legacy

Regrettably it seems to be a regular occurrence these days that once untouchable sports stars are unravelling before our very eyes. First Tiger Woods’ personal issues, then Lance Armstrong’s doping allegations and now it looks like Oscar Pistorius is set to join the line-up of disgraced sports heroes.

If the above points come to fruition and Oscar Pistorius is sent to prison for murder, terminated from his multimillion pound endorsements and stripped of his gold medals and world records, then it is undeniable that The Fastest Man on No Legs’ legacy will be tarnished forever.

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6 thoughts on “The fall of Oscar Pistorius

  1. Crazy, crazy, crazy. This all still seems so bizarre. I know famous people are capable of murder too but it still just seems weird. It must have created quite a stir in SA, it must be like Beckham offing Posh here in the UK. Great piece mate!

  2. Well written, David. Sad that wither of us had to write on such a topic. In addition to what either of us said (my post at http://mymissingfingers.com/), I would add that i can’t help but give though to the role pride seems to play in the falls of those we think heroic. Wonder if some void of the heart to which the loss of anonymity perhaps contributes–coupled with crazy success–doesn’t somehow move those of celebrity to see themselves above “the law”–societal norms and expectations. Thanks for the read and encouraging note. @stoughton1

  3. 14dpauls says:

    I’m don’t think they’ll strip his awards. Lance was stripped because the drugs enhanced his ability to compete during the competition, while the crime had no effect on Pistorius’ performance in London.

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