Can A Foot Amputee Race A Horse and Win? Oscar Pistorius, His Story

Many of you may remember the fantastic events around the Summer Olympics when Oscar Pistorius and his “Cheetah legs” became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. Pistorius didn’t medal, but made history by winning his heat and making it to the semi-finals for the 400 meter run. He also competed with the South African team in the 4×100 meter relay.

Pistorius took on a new challenger, an Arabian Thoroughbred horse! The double amputee raced with a 15 meter head start in a 100 meter sprint and actually won by 2 seconds! Pistorius was in Qatar for the Gathering of all Leaders in Sports (GOALS) and the “DefinitelyAble” campaign.

Commonly in the U.S. today, below knee amputations occur because of complications of diabetic infections, vascular diseases and traumatic events like motor vehicle accidents. Pistorius however, was born with severely deformed lower legs which required amputation at 11 months of age. He has since been walking on prosthetic devices his entire life. His motto is “it is not because of my disabilities that I am disabled, it is because of my abilities that I am able”. Pistorius has competed in rugby, swimming and Para-Olympic running events. He uses carbon fiber “cheetah” prosthetics with built-in Nike track spikes.

In Dr. Bowmans experience, he has had the opportunity to see many patients who have been fitted for prosthetic devices after below or above knee amputations.

TMC, a local orthotic and prosthetic manufacturer in Houston, Texas offers yearly outings for new and long time amputees including skydiving. They want people to understand that an amputation does not signify that your quality of life has to drop off. Oscar Pistorius is a perfect example of what one can accomplish, despite challenges. At Houston Foot Specialists it is a priority to save limbs first. So if you suffer from diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, peripheral artery disease and calf pain with slow circulation come see us to help prevent an amputation.

For further information on amputations, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or this blog please contact Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit his website at for more information and online appointments.

Category: Foot Problems

Tags: Foot Amputation, prosthetics, summer olympics