How did Oscar Pistorius lose his legs?

BEFORE being convicted of murder, Oscar Pistorius was a global inspiration.

The shamed athlete surpassed the limits imposed on him as a Paralympian after being born with a rare birth defect which affected his legs.

How did Oscar Pistorius lose his legs?

Oscar Pistorius was born without calf bones, a rare birth defect known as fibular hemimelia.

Atjust 11 months old, doctors decided that Pistorius should have the lower portion of his legs amputated.

Six months later, the South African born baby was taught to walk on fibreglass pegs. 

What is fibular hemimelia?

Fibular hemimelia is a rare birth defect that affects 1 in 50,000 babies.

It is the name for a condition in which a baby is born with an unusually short, or sometimes missing fibula – the outer of two bones in the lower leg.

 The condition can also affect other bones in the leg, as well as the ankle and foot.

The cause of the condition aren't known and treatment is dependent on how badly a child is affected.

In some cases, surgery can fix the limb length difference but in others, amputation and a prosthesis is required.

When did Oscar Pistorius start running?

Growing up, Pistorius participated in numerous sports, including water polo and rugby in secondary school.

The young sportsman injured his knee in 2003, and took up track as a form of rehabilitation.

It was here that his running career began. By 2004, Pistorius had won gold in the 200-metre sprint at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games and took home a bronze medal in the 100-metres.

By 2007, Pistorius was running fast enough to compete against able-bodied athletes – but attracted accusations that his high-tech prostheses gave him an an unfair advantage.

In the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, Pistorius swept up three gold medals in the 100-metres, 200-metres, and 400-metres.

In London's 2012 games, Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to compete at the Olympics, running in an opening heat of the men's 400-metre sprint.

When is The Trials of Oscar Pistorius on BBC One?

The first part of The Trials Of Oscar Pistorius will be aired on BBC Two on Sunday November 8 at 21:10. 

The series consists of four episodes which will air each Sunday from then on.

It will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

The documentary tells the story Pistorius – who went from being an international sporting hero to a convicted murderer, after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Dan McGolpin of BBC iPlayer, says: “This incredible documentary series provides new perspectives on the terrible events of Valentine’s Day 2013, giving us a deeper and closer look at one of the world’s most remarkable sporting figures, on the South Africa that he grew up in and the media circus that surrounded his trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"It’s essential viewing, and joins an enormously rich collection of sports documentaries now streaming on BBC iPlayer, including the recently added Lance, as well as Oscar-winning films like When We Were Kings and OJ: Made in America.”

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