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Double amputee runner has realistic shot at Olympic medal

  • Oscar Pistorius

    South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes in the men's 400 m race during the Palio della Quercia Games in Rovereto August 31, 2010. The runner, 23, made headlines two years ago after winning his battle to race with able-bodied athletes having previously been banned. He then failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics or the 2009 world championships in Berlin but his dream of reaching next year's world championships and London's 2012 Games burns brighter than ever. Picture taken August 31, 2010. (Reuters)

  • Oscar Pistorius

    This is a handout photo issued by London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee of Paralympic gold medallist and world-record holder Oscar Pistorius. (AP)

  • Adidas Grand Prix Pis_Pata.jpg

    Sept. 20, 2011: In this file photo, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius runs in the 400 meter race during the track and field meeting dedicated to the late Polish Olympic champion Kamila Skolimowska, in Warsaw, Poland. (AP2011)

  • Olympics Pistorius At_Higg.jpg

    FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2011 file photo, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius competes in a qualification round for the Men's 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Double amputee Oscar Pistorius has been selected for South Africa's Olympic 4x400 relay team. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) (AP2011)

After a four-year battle to qualify for the Olympics as the first double amputee runner, Oscar Pistorius has overcome yet another obstacle ahead of his first race at the London Games.

The key breakthrough is that Pistorius should be allowed to run any of the four parts of the Olympic 4x400-meter relay and will not be held back by concerns his carbon fiber blades would endanger others once runners leave their lanes after the first lap. As a slow starter, he is better suited to running in the later stages of the relay.

Because of it, what once was considered an outlandish idea -- a man with prosthetic legs.

Pistorius says that "I don't know which leg I am going to run, but I am ready to run whichever leg they will ask me to run."