David Epstein admits it: "I have probably written as critically as anyone in the world about the science that allowed [Oscar] Pistorius to compete in the Olympics." The senior writer for Sports Illustrated thought that the science behind the prosthetics that the "Blade Runner" used gave him an unfair advantage. But Epstein liked the runner: "I think we all agreed on the inspirational value of his spirit. No matter what comes out of this [the possible murder of Pistorius’s girlfriend], that story is forever changed."
Forever changed is exactly the way to put it. Oscar Pistorius, the Olympian sprinter from South Africa with two prosthetics for lower legs, is being charged with the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp, his 30-year-old girlfriend. Original reports indicated it was an accidental shooting. The story has evolved to include a bloodied cricket bat, drunken rage, and possible steroid use. As more and more information has been revealed since news first surfaced on February 14, the story has gotten crazier and crazier. Here’s a short timeline of the media coverage of one of the most bizarre stories out there:
— News reports surface that Oscar Pistorius, the first Paralympian to compete at the Olympic Games, fatally shot and killed a woman in his house. The woman turned out to be his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
— Early reports indicated that the shooting was accidental.
— These reports were quashed quickly. Soon stories emerged alleging Pistorius’ past with drunken and abusive behavior.
— The police charged Pistorius with murder and planned to oppose bail.
— Steenkamp was shot four times, which dispelled beliefs that the shooting was accidental.
— Nike pulled this ad featuring the "Blade Runner":
— A Daily Mail story said that a cricket bat, a baseball bat, revolver, and machine gun were found in Pistorius’ room.
— The cricket bat may have been bloodied. Some stories report that Pistorius may have crushed Steenkamp’s head with a cricket bat.
— The Mirror revealed that Steenkamp may have been shot because Pistorius was jealous of her relationship with his friend and rugby star, Francois Hougaard.
— Then, on top of the cricket bat and possible jealousy storylines, there are reports that steroids were found in Pistorius’ house. Theories of "Roid Rage" abound, and the runner is going to be tested for use of the performance-enhancing drugs.
— Tuesday, just five days after the the shooting, Pistorius appeared in court and spoke for the first time. He used his disability as a big part of his defense: "I woke up in the summer heat, went out on the patio on my stumps to get a fan, heard a noise in the bathroom and thought there was an intruder as I knew the window was open and ladders were accessible nearby" ... "I felt extremely vulnerable (as I was on my stumps) but I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself."
The story of Oscar Pistorius as the first Paralympian to compete at the Olympics may have seemed too good to be true. Now, as the story has taken a turn for the worse, it’s even harder to believe what Pistorius was capable of. Sadly, the story appears to be living up to it's bizarreness.