Oscar Pistorius is the very first man in the history of the Olympic Games to compete against able-bodied men in spite of the fact that he is a double amputee. Early Thursday morning, he was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend in his native South Africa.
According to Newsday, Pistorius, an absolute national hero, shot Reeva Steencamp, a model who spoke out on Twitter against rape and abuse of women, four times in the very early hours on Thursday.
“We can confirm that Reeva Steenkamp has passed away,” Steenkamp’s publicist Sarit Tomlinson said. “We are in communication with people on the scene, please wait for official statements, as there is too much speculation at this moment in time. We will provide further information as soon as we are able to provide accurate information as to what transpired.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to the Steenkamp family, who have asked to have their privacy respected during this difficult time, everyone is simply devastated. She was the kindest, sweetest human being; an angel on earth and will be sorely missed.”
Known as the ‘Blade Runner’ for his artificial legs, Pistorius had been living with Steencamp in a gated community in the violent nation’s capitol, Pretoria. He was scheduled to be put to trial on Thursday afternoon. However, that is not enough time for forensics teams to do the work necessary, forcing the trial to be pushed to Friday.
At that point, we will all gain valuable insight into the home life of a man who could seemingly do no wrong. He is the first man to compete in the Olympics without legs, and he is also a gold medal Paralympian. He helped raise awareness for amputees on an international level.
He was the epitome of a role model.
Unfortunately, he may have shot his girlfriend out of a fear of an intrusion, and on Valentine’s Day no less.
South African journalist Kalay Maistry told Sky News: “It is alleged that he thought his girlfriend, who’d come in to try to surprise him for Valentine’s Day, was an intruder. It’s alleged that he shot her in the arm and head.”
“I think what this actually highlights is the level of fear ordinary South Africans have. This is a man who has gone to bed, it’s an innocent surprise from a girlfriend and the moment he thinks someone is trying to break in he grabs his gun.”
“This has come as a complete surprise for a man who’s considered a national hero,” Maistry said.
2013 has not been kind to national heroes lately. Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o was embarrassed on the world’s stage following his ‘catfishing’ ordeal and Lance Armstrong earned public infamy following his less-than-convincing apology for extensive use of every PED on the market.
However, this event makes everything else seem virtually non-existent.
We offer all of Steenkamp’s family our thoughts during this tragic time.