In 2008, however, the Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared him to compete against the fastest in the world.
It was the Olympics that he wanted, but he failed to run the qualifying time for the 2008 Beijing Games. Instead, he won the 100, 200 and 400 at the Paralympics in China as he was quickly becoming a star around the world.
In his life off the track, Pistorius called himself a “speed freak.” He told The Associated Press on several occasions about his love of riding powerful motorcycles, but gave up that hobby in 2009 after he injured his head in a boat accident.
“There was a lot of refocus after that. I had this motorboat accident and I was in hospital for two weeks and spent the next four weeks at home,” Pistorius told the AP. “I just realized that I need to make some changes and some of them need to be with my lifestyle. I was messing around a lot with motorbikes and just playing around and taking unnecessary risks.”
He has also boasted to the AP about having cage fighters as friends, and was open about his ownership of guns. He tweeted a photo of himself at a shooting range in November 2011, bragging about his score.
“Had a 96% headshot over 300m from 50shots! Bam!” he tweeted.
Two years after his boating accident, Pistorius finally got to compete on the big stage, running on South Africa’s 4x400 relay team at the 2011 world championships. Although he was dropped from the final, he won a silver medal because he competed in the heats.
By the time the London Olympics came around, Pistorius made the grade, and he could barely believe that he would become the first double amputee to compete on the track at the Olympics.
“I think I woke up the next morning with cramps in my cheeks. I was smiling in my sleep,” Pistorius told the AP last year in an interview at his training base in northeastern Italy.