Oscar Has Broken the Boundaries .. but Now We Must Protect Our Games; PARALYMPICS Says BARONESS TANNI GREY-THOMPSON

Sunday Mirror (London, England), July 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

Oscar Has Broken the Boundaries .. but Now We Must Protect Our Games; PARALYMPICS Says BARONESS TANNI GREY-THOMPSON


Byline: RICHARD LEWIS

BARONESS Tanni Grey-Thompson believes it is time for change within the Paralympic movement now that Oscar Pistorius has made it to the Olympic Games.

The South African 'Blade Runner' has achieved his dream by qualifying to run the 400m and be part of the 4 x 400m relay in London this summer.

After the Olympics, he will then aim to defend his T44 100m, 200m and 400m titles at the Paralympics on the same track.

But Baroness Grey-Thompson, 42, is concerned some Paralympic events could become secondary in the years to come if more runners make the transition because of the advancement in technology of prosthetic limbs.

Britain's greatest Paralympian said: "If something happened in between both events, and Oscar is not at the Paralympics for no fault of his own, the 400m would become a 'B' final. We don't want that to happen. These are really important times. What the Paralympics is now is so different to what it was in the 1980s.

"Back then, the prosthetic devices were not as good and the Paralympics movement needs to move on and think about whether events should be dropped if athletes start competing at the Olympics as well.

"Good on Oscar, he has done so much for the Paralympics and I am not criticising him - far from it. He just wants to be the best that he can. But it is not just about Oscar, it is about the future of the Games."

Pistorius is not the first Paralympian to compete at the Olympics.

In Beijing, his South African swimming team-mate Natalie Du Toit was 16th in the open water event - even though she lost the lower half of her left leg in a motorbike accident. …

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