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S. African Double-Amputee to Compete in Olympics

  • VOA News

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes in a qualification round for the Men's 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, September 1, 2011.
South African runner Oscar Pistorius is set to become the first amputee to compete in the Olympics.

The South African Olympic committee said Wednesday that it had selected Pistorius, 25, a double amputee, to run in the individual 400 meters and the 4 X 400 relay.

Pistorius is nicknamed "the Blade Runner" because he runs on carbon fiber blades.

Pistorius expressed gratitude on the social networking site Twitter. He tweeted, "Thank you to everyone that has made me the athlete I am!"

Last week, Pistorius failed to qualify for the individual 400 meters by about two tenths of a second (.22). But a member of South Africa's Olympic committee, Tubby Reddy, said Wednesday that Pistorius could run in the event because of his inclusion on the relay team.

Pistorius has won multiple Paralympic games, and last year he competed in the world championships in South Korea.

The summer games in London begin July 27.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.