The Boston Aftermath and (the Complete Lack of) Oscar Pistorius

My alarm clock (it’s an actual clock radio, vintage, right?) wakes me up in the morning with NPR. On a few mornings, including this one, the story being covered was about a victim of the Boston Marathon bombings. They were focusing on those that were injured, that needed amputations.

They all seemed to have a similar story (at least, they seemed to in the few minutes I would catch). After the initial shock and pain went away, the women being interviewed said that they hit a low point. As one put it, she knew her family was there to support her, and she knew she was lucky to be alive, but she was afraid she was done living, and was afraid to start living life as an amputee.

And then, they all met someone else that went through something similar, but who had rebounded and went on to live a full, fulfilling life. The Boston victims said they were inspired, and that’s when they knew it was going to be okay.

It’s wonderful that they’ve had those encounters, but I can’t help but think that at a time like this, Oscar Pistorius would have come up a million times if he wasn’t an alleged murderer. Talk about rebounding from a double amputation. For so many, he was an inspiration, a role model, someone to aspire to.

I haven’t heard his name once in all of this post-Boston discussion, even though his story pre-February was tailor-made for inspirational anecdotes. “Look at this guy, he grew up as a double amputee and went on to run in the able-bodied Olympics.”

And then he murdered his girlfriend in cold blood on Valentine’s Day. Allegedly, I suppose, because he hasn’t been proven guilty in a court of law. Not so tailor-made anymore.

Have I just missed the comparisons and anecdotes? Or has the world just swept this man under the rug completely, as if his victories never happened, as if he never existed? I’m genuinely curious. If you’ve heard news stories mention him at all in relation to recent amputees, I’d love to know.

On a positive note, the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association announced yesterday that they have teamed up with several organizations and will be covering the cost of prosthetics to anyone that lost limbs in the bombings. It’s nice to see that people continue to be a supportive community in the wake of this tragedy. Go AOPA.


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