YOUNG Oscar Pistorious is a hero.
A man who took on the world to get himself into the Olympic games and took on his own body and our prejudices to become a genuine beacon of human achievement.
But he got it wrong this time.
Pistorious came second in the T44 200 metres in the Paralympics and then had a go at Alan Fonteles Oliveira and American Blake Leeper, who finished third, saying they gained an unfair advantage by lengthening their running blades.
The Brazilian took gold in 21.45 seconds, leaving Pistorius to settle for silver in 21.52secs.
Although he later apologised, admitting he “detracted from another athlete’s moment of triumph”, the South African was clearly upset at being beaten by Oliveira, his first ever loss at 200 metres, and revealed he had warned the IPC several weeks ago about what was likely to unfold.
“Oliveira had never run a 21-second race before,” said Pistorius. “He was running high 23s less than a year ago, so you just need to look at the facts behind it. It wasn’t a fair race.”
He was whiney, a bit a of a bad loser and something less than sporting to raise these issues at a time and in a games like this.But that’s not what he got wrong.
He was right to complain that longer blades make it easier to go faster. He should know, he used to run on them. He is wrong because he has tried to have it both ways.
He ran in the London 2012 Olympics against able-bodied runners and used shorter blades because the Olympic committee said he had to.
That meant he couldn’t then go back to the longer blades for the Paralympics and couldn’t keep pace with the winner who did run in the longer blades.
Sorry, Oscar, even you can’t have it both ways. You did the right thing by entering the Olympics Games.That has to be enough glory this time round.
Because of Oscar and his fellow Paralympians it seems we are still main-lining Olympic feelgood. After a couple of weeks off we’re at it again. Glued to the telly watching sports we’ve barely heard of with tears in our eyes at the sheer emotional power of people trying to overcome their limitations to be champions.
The come-down is going to be so-o-o depressing.
Southampton in all-red? Gillingham in red and blue? Cardiff in red?
Something’s going on here. Who watched Sky on Sunday at 4pm and thought they had the wrong game when they saw a team in apparently all-red playing a team in black and white?
Manchester United have had black and white away kits since the 1970s but Southampton in anything but red and white stripes and black shorts at home doesn’t seem right. They all seem to be going for red, a colour said, according to those who know the symbolism and psychology of colours, to increase enthusiasm, stimulate energy and encourage action and confidence.
Blue on the other hand calms and sedates, cools and aids intuition, allegedly.
The Southampton kit looked just like a Liverpool strip from the 1980s. I wonder if that’s manager Nigel Adkins’ choice? Born and raised in Birkenhead on Merseyside he may be trying to recreate an aura of the all-conquering Liverpool sides of his youth.
In his youth he spent time as a junior at Anfield.