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Oscar Pistorius

Analysis and Comment (16)

The world is watching, 24/7. The world is watching, 24/7. STR/EPA

After Pistorius, South African media won’t be the same again

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius is changing South Africa’s media ecology. It is the country’s first criminal trial to be covered fully on social media and live television, and both journalists and…
Murder trial: Oscar Pistorius after giving evidence last week. Murder trial: Oscar Pistorius after giving evidence last week. EPA/Stringer

The Pistorius defence and the fear that grips white South Africa

The week has not begun well for Oscar Pistorius. Under relentless cross-examination from prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the Paralympian athlete, standing trial for shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp…
Why isn’t it the norm for trials in Australia of immense public interest to be broadcast, as the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa has? Why isn’t it the norm for trials in Australia of immense public interest to be broadcast, as the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa has? EPA/Kevin Sutherland

Morcombe, Pistorius and the public interest in court broadcasts

The one thing missing from the saturation coverage of the Daniel Morcombe murder trial in Brisbane late last week was courtroom vision. Media coverage of Brett Cowan’s conviction and sentencing involved…
Tarnished brand: South African football. Tarnished brand: South African football. Shine

Puma leaps out of South Africa amid rising market morality

German sportswear company Puma recently ended its contract with the South African Football Association (SAFA), after football’s world governing body, FIFA, found that there was “compelling evidence” that…
A lack of knee joints in his prosthetic legs means Whitehead runs with a swinging gait. A lack of knee joints in his prosthetic legs means Whitehead runs with a swinging gait. EPA/Kerim Okten

Crossing the line: are Richard Whitehead’s moves illegal?

The participation of Oscar Pistorius at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics has been, at times, controversial. Yet technology used by above-the-knee amputees is also causing a stir at London 2012…
Sometimes having no legs is better than having one. Sometimes having no legs is better than having one. EPA/Jonathan Brady

Pistorius shouldn’t be allowed to compete at the Paralympics

There has been a considerable amount of media coverage surrounding South African amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius who competed at the London Olympics and is now competing at the London Paralympics. The…
Alan Oliveira came from behind to beat Oscar Pistorius, sparking further debate about the effect of prosthetic legs. Alan Oliveira came from behind to beat Oscar Pistorius, sparking further debate about the effect of prosthetic legs. Andy Rain/EPA

Pistorius' loss to Oliveira fuels the ‘disruptive technology’ debate

“Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius is no stranger to controversy. This morning in London (AEST) the South African athlete was involved in a remarkable race at the Paralympics, the men’s 200m – T44 final, in…
Oilveira’s come-from-behind victory raises questions about the advantages provided by prosthetic legs. Oilveira’s come-from-behind victory raises questions about the advantages provided by prosthetic legs. Julian Stratenschulte/EPA

Beaten by a length? Pistorius, Oliveira and Paralympic fairness

In a major upset, Alan Oliveira of Brazil beat Oscar Pistorius to win an extraordinary T43/44 200 metre race today. But did Oliveira have an unfair advantage? The 20-year-old Brazilian finished ahead of…
Australia’s Jacqueline Freney celebrates after the Women’s 100m Backstroke on August 30. Australia’s Jacqueline Freney celebrates after the Women’s 100m Backstroke on August 30. Kerim Okten/EPA

Prowess and poise: Paralympians should be household names

As I peered out of a frosted Canberra window with child-like amazement at the gossamer snowflakes cascading from the muted grey sky, I thought of my friend training in the warm Swiss sun in preparation…
The Paralympics might be more popular than ever, but do disabled people see and feel the benefits? The Paralympics might be more popular than ever, but do disabled people see and feel the benefits? Adam Scotti

Superhip to supercrip: the ‘trickle-down’ effect of the Paralympics

Sport is seen as important for the quality of life, self-esteem, independence and social integration of people with disabilities, and the Paralympics are one expression of this importance. But what effect…
Are individuals disabled by a society that doesn’t accommodate difference? Are individuals disabled by a society that doesn’t accommodate difference? philippe leroyer

Disabled by society: Paralympians face challenges beyond the field

Australians love a good sports story about a hero overcoming adversity. Track cyclist Anna Meares’ gold medal in London was all the more impressive given her recovery from a life-threatening neck injury…
Artificial leg wearers tend to fare better than “wheelchair-bound” athletes in the media. Artificial leg wearers tend to fare better than “wheelchair-bound” athletes in the media. Jason Verwey

Leg-ism leaves some Paralympic stars out on a limb

We all know the media is influential. We also know the media’s portrayal of disability issues and disabled people is uneven. Such biases are also evident in the portrayal of the technology employed by…
Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley has unparalleled exposure as a Paralympic athlete. Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley has unparalleled exposure as a Paralympic athlete. AAP

Brand power: why sponsoring Paralympians allows everyone to strike gold

When triple Paralympic gold mediallist Evan O'Hanlon steps up to the track for the 100m this week, you might notice something odd about his racing apparel. The 24-year-old, who is Australia’s fastest disabled…
When it comes to design and performance, all wheelchairs are not created equally. When it comes to design and performance, all wheelchairs are not created equally. April Fonti/AAP

Wheelchair technology in the Paralympics … and its spin-offs

Equipment such as wheelchairs or prosthesis is fundamental in allowing some people with disabilities to carry out the tasks of daily living. But in the endeavour to go higher, faster and longer, athletes…
“Blade Runner’s” selection for the London Olympics has made sporting history. “Blade Runner’s” selection for the London Olympics has made sporting history. RAINER JENSEN/EPA

Oscar Pistorius and the Olympics: good news or bad for sport?

Oscar Pistorius – the South African double amputee athlete known as Blade Runner – will run at the at the London Olympics. Until a week ago, his hopes of inclusion in the South African Olympic team looked…