On this day

South Africa’s sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Oscar Pistorius: From globally acclaimed Paralympian to convicted murderer

Oscar Pistorius was the first double-leg amputee Olympics athlete. Discover how he turned from a respected athlete to a convicted murderer.

On this day

South Africa’s sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The 2012 Summer Olympics was special because Oscar Pistorius was the first-ever double-leg amputee to participate in the competition. He proved to the world that disability is not inability and made South Africa proud.

Despite being an amputee, Oscar Pistorius made history with his hard work and determination in sports. His story inspired millions of people worldwide. He became a prisoner in a shocking twist of events. He is currently serving his term for murder.

The former professional sprinter used his artificial limbs to participate in field events. His journey in athletics started in 2004 as part of a rehabilitation programme following a knee injury. Interestingly, he had always been passionate about sports despite not having legs.


Full nameOscar Leonard Carl Pistorius
NicknameBlade Runner, the fastest man on no legs, Tink Tink, and Oz Pistorius
Date of birth22nd November 1986
Age36 years (as of this publication)
Place of birthSandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
Current residenceSouth Africa
NationalitySouth African
Zodiac signSagittarius
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight179lb (81 kg)
Hair colourDark brown
Eye colourDark brown
Marital statusSingle
Ex-girlfriendReeva Steenkamp
FatherHenke Pistorius
MotherSheila Pistorius
SiblingsCarl and Aimée
Alma materUniversity of Pretoria
ProfessionFormer professional sprinter


How old is Oscar Pistorius now? Oscar Pistorius’ age is 36 years at the time of publishing. He was born on 22nd November 1986 in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

His father’s name is Henke Pistorius, and his mother is Sheila Pistorius. His mother passed away when he was 15. The dates of his mom’s birth and death are tattooed on his right arm. He credits his late mother as one of his biggest influences in life. 

He was brought up in a Christian, Afrikaner household. He has an older brother named Carland and a sister named Aimée. He has partial Italian ancestry from his maternal great-grandfather. He is fluent in English and Afrikaans.

The former sprinter was born with a congenital condition called fibular hemimelia. The condition is characterised by the absence of the fibula in both legs. As a result, both legs were amputated when he was 11 months old.

Why was Oscar Pistorius’ brother in a wheelchair? In 2015, Carl, Oscar Pistorius’ brother, attended Oscar’s trial in a wheelchair and leg braces. His legs were injured in a car accident, for which he was prosecuted. He has since recovered.


The professional sprinter started his education at Constantia Kloof Primary School. He proceeded to Pretoria Boys High School, where he played in the school’s rugby team.

Between 11 and 13, he played tennis and water polo at the provincial levels. He was also part of the Olympic wrestling club. He then proceeded to the University of Pretoria for a B.Com in Business Management degree. 


In June 2003, Oscar Pistorius suffered an injury while playing rugby. He was enrolled at the University of Pretoria’s High-Performance Centre for rehabilitation and was introduced to running. He got his first racing blades fitted at the centre and kick started his career. He competed in different events and levels.

He ran with J-shaped carbon-fibre prostheses known as the Flex-Foot Cheetah. Controversies arose in his career because some people felt his prostheses gave him an unfair advantage over people with normal arms and legs. 

In 2008, he participated in his first-ever Summer Paralympics. He competed in the 100, 200, and 400-metre races and set the Paralympic record. During the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, he participated in several non-disabled races and set a personal best record.

He debuted as an amputee runner in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. He then participated in the 2012 Summer Paralympics and won a team gold medal on 5th September 2012.


Celebrity Net Worth says the former professional sprinter is worth R2.8 million. He accumulated his wealth from his athletics career.


The former sprinter lived in Silverwoods Country Estate, Pretoria, South Africa. He was in a relationship with Reeva Steenkamp. The property was sold in 2014. On 14th February 2013, Oscar Pistorius’ story of hope and inspiration changed after he shot dead his then-girlfriend.

Many people assumed that Reeva was Oscar Pistorius’ wife because the two lived together but were not married. The former sprinter shot her four times and claimed he mistook her for an intruder. The incident occurred at his Pretoria home.

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Following the shooting of Reeva, the former sprinter was charged with murder at the Pretoria High Court. On 12th September 2014, the court found him guilty of culpable homicide and misuse of a firearm.

How many years did Oscar get? On 21st October 2014, Oscar was given a five-year sentence for culpable homicide. In June of the following year, he was recommended for early release.

Oscar Pistorius’ release date was set to 21st August 2015. He was supposed to be placed on house arrest. Justice Minister Michael Masutha blocked the release two days before the release date, terming it premature.

After a series of appeals and resubmission of court papers, Oscar was found guilty of murder and sentenced to six years in prison. He continued serving his term at the hospital wing of the Kgosi Mampuru II jail. He was moved to Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in 2016.

Has Pistorius been released? No, he has not. In 2023, it was announced that a parole board would consider the former sprinter’s early release because he was a model prisoner. The request for parole was denied.

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The former Olympics sprinter is still in jail at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre. The centre is designed to accommodate the needs of prisoners with disabilities. His request for parole was thrown out in 2023 but will be reconsidered in a year.

Oscar Pistorius was once the source of inspiration to numerous South Africans and people from other parts of the world. The former Paralympian was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend, and his next parole hearing will be in 2024.