Just two days before South African running sensation Oscar Pistorius was charged with murdering his girlfriend, the first double amputee to race in the Olympics announced his grand plan to start a charity for kids with disabilities.
Pistorius, 26, was charged on Thursday with murdering Reeva Steenkamp, a 30-year-old model, after her body was found at his home in a gated complex in South Africa, Reuters reports.
The circumstances of the shooting have yet to be released, but the already few gruesome details that have been revealed stand in stark contrast to the benevolent sentiment Pistorius tweeted on Tuesday.
In a run up to the launch of my foundation in July I will give at least 10kids mobility! instagr.am/p/VnowfWoR7a/
— Oscar Pistorius (@OscarPistorius) February 12, 2013
Through the years, the South African native has taken his advocacy work across the world.
As the ambassador of the Mineseeker Foundation Initiative –- an organization that helps communities affected by landmines –- Pistorius has advocated for ridding the world of landmines and has worked to fit low-cost limbs for those who have been severely injured, the charity’s founder, Mike Kendrick, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.
While Kendrick wouldn’t remark on the specifics of the murder case, he shared his thoughts on Pistorius’ contribution to the organization.
“We are all in a state of shock over the story about Oscar and our thoughts go to Reeva, her family and to Oscar and his family. It would be wrong to speculate on details of this sad affair but we can only say that our relationship with Oscar, as an Ambassador of the Mineseeker Foundation, has always been an uplifting experience. Oscar was always a man of great humility with a desire to help others.”
Kendrick also remarked on how nothing seemed out of the ordinary when he spent time with the renowned runner during the Olympics.
“I was in London with Oscar and his family during the London Olympics and he seemed his normal self,” Kendrick said in his email, “level headed, as normal with a drive to assist in the humanitarian efforts to assist those less fortunate than him.”
A long-time advocate for people with disabilities, Pistorius, who had both legs amputated below the kneee as a child, garnered worldwide acclaim when he was allowed to compete in the 2012 summer Olympics in London after years of legal battles.
He went home with an Olympic individual semi-final and an Olympic final, two Paralympic gold medals, a Paralympic silver, two world records and a Paralympic record.
But the “Blade Runner’s” determination to encourage kids with disabilities to take on sports began even before he was granted entry to the Olympic stage.
Back in 2009, Pistorius hit the track in North England with then-5-year-old Ellie Challis who lost both her hands and lower legs at 16 months after contracting a severe case of meningitis, according to the Daily Mail. The determined little runner beat Pistorius in all four 15-meter races
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