Oscar Pistorius' rise and fall could hardly be more drastic. A six-time Paralympic gold medalist who became the first amputee sprinter to compete in the in an Olympics, his arrest after allegedly shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is one of sport's most extraordinary personal stories.
A South African hero and the poster boy of Paralympians, he has been championed by sportswear giant Nike for his groundbreaking athleticism and was the most renowned Paralympian ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.
The 26-year-old remains the T44 (single below knee amputees) is the world record holder for the 200 and 400 metres events, and the joint T43 (double below knee amputee) record holder for the 100 metres.
Pistorius races at Athens 2004
Born with fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs, Pistorius' legs were amputated when he was 11 months old halfway between his knees and ankles.
The South African suffered the loss of his mother when he was just 15 and has credited her as being the major influence behind his sporting career. The dates of her birth and death are tattooed on his arm.
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At just 17 he won bronze and gold at the 2004 Paralympics at Athens, winning the 200 metres with a world record 21.97 seconds.
Without prosthetic limbs, it was claimed Pistorius enjoyed an unfair advantage with his Flex-Foot Cheetah carbon fibre transtibial prostheses, which led to him being nicknamed the Blade Runner.
In January 2008 the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled Pistorius was ineligible for competitions conducted under its rules, including the 2008 Summer Olympics. This decision was reversed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport four months later when they ruled since he was slower out of the blocks than an able-bodied athlete there was insufficient evidence he had an advantage.
That year he emerged as arguably the most iconic Paralympian in the world when he took a hat-trick of golds in Beijing in the 100, 200 and 400 metres.
Four years later he became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games but did not qualify for the 400 metres final. He nevertheless carried the nation's flag at the closing ceremony.
Pistorius and Oliveira in London 2012
At London 2012 he carried the South African flag at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics and went on to collect two golds. He took gold in the 200 metres when he was defeatedby Brazil's Alan Oliveira. Immediately after the race he complained about the length of Oliveria's blades only to later apologise for the timing of his remarks, but not the complaint. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirmed Pistorius had raised the issue of blade length with it six weeks prior to the race.
Pistorius was also an active supporter of the Mineseeker Foundation, a charity which raises awareness for landmine victims and has a support programme to provide prosthetics for victims.
He began dating Miss Steenkamp two months ago before her tragic death.
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