The Stallion, The Star and The Showdown
Oscar Pistorious was in Doha in December to inspire athletes and test his ability against his toughest opponent yet – an Arabian Stallion.
Jesse Owens did it first. But Oscar Pistorious’s feat was definitely more inspiring.
Being disabled means being more than capable. These words are the founding principle behind the Definitely Able Campaign, and no one lives this ethos like Oscar Pistorius, or Blade Runner, as he is now known the world over.
The campaign launched earlier this year was initiated by Sasol Qatar, in collaboration with the Qatar Olympic Committee and the Qatar Paralympic Committee.
Pistorious was in Doha in December to inspire athletes and test his ability against his toughest opponent yet – an Arabian Stallion. Organised in collaboration with the Doha Goals Forum, the ‘Run Like The Wind’ race was a unique platform for Oscar, the first-ever double amputee to compete in the Olympics. His superhuman feat over a 130-metre stretch of track was the culmination of a weeklong programme where the athlete spread his empowering message.
In the aftermath of the electric atmosphere at the Aspire Zone outdoor circuit, where Pistorius at first outsprinted, and then tenaciously held off the late surge of the stallion, JustHere caught up with event compere Robin Adams.
Adams who has been presenting the sport for Al Jazeera in Doha for the past two years told JustHere what the ‘Definitely Able’ campaign meant to him.
“I was initially captivated by the ‘Chairs and Champs’ concept in June this year where a team of disabled basketball players from South Africa came out here to challenge the able-bodied Qatar handball team to a match. I thought this was a brilliant idea to promote awareness of disabled athletes. Not just that – it was FUN! Everyone from the athletes to the spectators was having fun. The cool thing is getting to spend time with the athletes. It’s an amazing feeling to experience their incredible self-belief and drive, and it quickly makes one realise that these athletes are actually extraordinary people.”
‘Chairs and Champs’ as it turned out was just the beginning of the campaign, which led to this massive media event at Aspire. “A man versus a horse is really something extraordinary, and I felt privileged to host the event. That Oscar actually beat the magnificent Arabian Stallion speaks volumes for his grit and ability. Oscar said it brilliantly in his video clip before the race – he said I have two disabilities, but I have a million abilities. That message really inspired me. And I can now also say – I was there the day Oscar outsprinted a Maserati!,” he says.
While in Qatar, ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius also visited Shafallah Center, the Al Noor Institute and ACS Doha School, where he inspired students with his life journey and the challenges he has faced along the way.