Last Olympics, I was moved to blog after hearing and watching the exploits of Oscar Pistorius, the amputee who overcame long odds to run with able-bodied athletes. He was a role model and a hero. Read blog here.
This hero and role model is now accused of the brutal murder of his girlfriend. I was shocked and so was everyone who followed this man in the culmination of his dream. How could he do this? He seemed so grounded. But did we know him? Do we really know the people we make our role models? Sometimes if we knew what they were capable of, we might be less inclined to make give them that status.
Role models and heroes are humans with the same weaknesses and desires like us. Just read the papers or watch the news and you will always find stories where a hero turned into a villain. Fortunately, not every hero or role model choose to surprise us and end up being charged for heinous crimes or other criminal activity. There are actually some that we can look up to but we should still never be too surprised when even these show their human sides.
Oscar is no different than the other stories you hear about NFL players or movie stars who kill their girlfriends or their families. The fact that he is an amputee perhaps lends a ‘feel good’ touch to his story as we see him as ‘different’ but he’s not. He is capable committing the same crimes as everyone else is.
Oscar is innocent until proven guilty and no matter what the verdict is, he will still be remembered for being the first amputee to compete with the big boys. If he is found guilty, then he would have basically ‘fallen on his blades’ as far as killing his legacy.