Oscar Pistorius, often called the “Blade Runner runner” and “the Olympic athlete with no legs,” is being charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot twice and found dead in his home in Pretoria, South Africa. There are hardly any details out about the case to illuminate what might have happened between the 26-year-old sprinter and the 30-year-old model and law school graduate, but it’s already a tragic story.
Steenkamp’s publicist said that her death is a “huge loss for everyone and too shocking for words.” ”She was a rising star … a very bright young girl,” she added.
But Steenkamp’s story is likely going to be overlooked in light of everyone’s fascination with Pistorius, who’s been dubbed a national hero in South Africa, and whose image has appeared all over the world as a beacon of inspiration and hope.
A lot of inspirational athletes like the “Blade Runner runner” have been knocked off their pedestals of perfection lately: USADA investigations revealed that Lance Armstrong had been doping and lying about it for years; Hope Solo married her fiance one day after he was arrested for assaulting her, and it was uncovered that former Olympic runner Suzy Hamilton (who now works as an inspirational speaker) was working as an escort. The moral of the story is probably that athletes aren’t superhuman, and possibly we shouldn’t expect them to be.
But for Reeva Steenkamp and her family, there’s really no valuable lesson or moral of the story. It’s just really, really sad.
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