Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius Visits Oakley

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Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius visited Oakley Headquarters on Tuesday, sharing his inspirational story with an eager audience. The double amputee, who holds the world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, started things off light, admitting he felt overdressed for the casual atmosphere at Foothill Ranch. The South African went on to share his message of determination through a series of humorous anecdotes. After disputing all claims that his prostheses give him an advantage over able-bodied athletes, Pistorius has his sights set on the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

I’m overwhelmed with how friendly and welcoming everyone is at Oakley.
I took a tour and just had no idea how massive the place was.

It was amazing to see the amount of work that goes into making my eyewear. When you wear Oakley, you know the science that goes into the technology, but you don’t know the hard work that goes into every piece. Everything is done with so much more care than you would ever expect. That’s why I don’t have to worry about rain sticking to my lens or my glasses falling off my face. It’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

The moment I realized my disadvantage had advantages as well was when I was four years old, careering down hill on an out-of-control kart. My brother wedged my prosthetic foot between the tire and the brake, which saved me from a massive crash.

I had a stone lodged in my leg for a month before I even noticed. I treat it with a sense of humor.

If you perceive yourself as having a disability, others will too.

I used to forge sick notes to get our of school athletics, it was the one sport I really hated.

When my coach suggested I run the 400m, I told him he was mad.

Every season I want to be running my personal best time.

I have one set of racing legs. You have to train and get used to every detail.

Athletics has evolved. It used to be all about training hard. Now it’s more about dieting and resting.

2008 was a hectic season. I’m looking forward to this year.

I hate the actual travel, but I love seeing new countries and exploring new cultures. I love tasting new foods and experiencing new traditions.

I have a Bayliner Brave that we love to take out to the River outside town. We wakeboard and BBQ and just hang on the water. It’s a great way to pass a weekend.

Beijing-the three golds and a world record-w as my biggest accomplishment to date.

But there are many other competitions that have been special. Whether it’s a time in my season I’ve been struggling and I ran well or doing well in a race where I wasn’t expected to rank. My first able-bodied race. Every race, even the bad ones have meant something special.

I admire athletes who have finished their careers and have remained humble and down to earth. One day when I’m done I’d like to be remembered as the guy next door.

I’m so impatient it’s a joke. With deadlines, traffic…If I can’t get a hold of someone…late flights. Everyday I have to focus on being more patient.

I have somewhat of a shoe fetish-I guess that’s my weakness. What can I say, I spend a lot of time in Europe.

I won property in Mozambique. I don’t have a house, we just camp and have bonfires. There’s nothing there, no roads. The people there lead a simple way of life work hard for what they have. There are no resorts, nothing Western, no cell signal. It’s just a barren place with white, unspoiled beaches.

I say “just the other day” way too much. Even if it was two years ago, I’ll say “just the other day…”

I love my dogs. I have a Bull Terrior and Jack Russsel. I miss them a lot when I’m overseas. When I’m away for more than a month, my bull terrior treats me like a foreigner in my won house

If I die and come back as something I hope it’s a tortoise. I wouldn’t mind just roaming the desert, chilling, eating shrubs.

A bracelet from my late mother is my most treasured possession.

My favorite way to pass an evening is chilling at home with my siblings and couple friends, playing Cat Stevens or something and having a BBQ. Nothing hectic, just a nice summer evening, maybe a swim and falling asleep on the couch.

I value loyalty and a sense of humor in my friends. I can’t live a serious life. And I also want my friends to know that I’m here for them whenever. One of the most important things to give as a friend is your time. Everyone needs a couple of friends you can count on no matter what.

My room used to be filled with posters of Steve McQueen. I loved that he was a little bit of a cowboy…and the fast cars and movie stars. He’s a great guys’ guy.

I’ve got to where I am today through determination and hardheadedness.

It’s critical to set short term goals with the end in mind.

It’s been a wonderful journey with Oakley. For me, eyewear started out as just an accessory. Now I couldn’t run with out it.

My next goal is to qualify for the 2012 London games. Right now I say that just qualifying would be enough, but as soon as I’m there it will be on.

Author

Tess Weaver

Date

March 23, 2009

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