Chit Chat: Oscar Pistorius

2011-04-22 09:16

How did you land such a high-profile campaign?
I was flown out to Paris in August last year to discuss the possibility of me being a part of the campaign.

I met with the designer who had some really cool ideas. We started negotiating and by September we’d shot the advert.
Tell us about the ad.

The silver pants were designed by a stylist from Thierry Mugler.

The concept was to get the silver and blue feel in action so that Photoshop wasn’t used in the advert at all.

I really had a lekker time shooting the advert!

Do you reckon you’re in the forefront of fashion now?
I enjoy following fashion but don’t believe in wearing overly trendy pieces. I like clothes that fit well.

So do your blades give you an added advantage on the field?
I think the record was set straight back in 2008 when the whole issue was taken to the Court of Arbitration, proving that there’s no way prosthethics give me an added advantage.

I think the whole thing was blown way out of proportion.

How do you feel about able-bodied people parking in the paraplegic space?
It annoys me! I don’t even park in a disabled parking bay because I can walk just fine.

I get irritated by the taboo of disability, though. People still aren’t completely comfortable talking about it.

Does being a role model cramp your style?
You must understand that you do get journalists who are looking for something to catch you out on.

It’s the nature of the industry to build you up and then take you down.

I don’t limit myself in any way but I do feel I have a responsibility to act in a responsible way.

Sportsmen seem to get caught up in scandals a lot. Does social media give you guys a platform to react?
Definitely. It’s a platform that allows us to tell the other side of the story.

It gives you a voice and changes the perception. Apart from that it allows me to interact with my heroes.

You once said kids are the only people who react honestly to disability. Do you have a responsibility to educate them?
I’ve seen kids react in funny ways sometimes when they see me with my blades on, because they don’t know any better.

Their parents should rather educate them instead of telling them not to stare.

I try to educate these kids and will stop and introduce myself: “I am Oscar and this is what happened to me because I didn’t eat my veggies.”

It’s just so that the next time a kid sees someone with a prosthetic they can react differently.

What’s your take on race quotas? Do you think skin colour matters on the field?

No, it doesn’t matter.

We are lucky to live in South Africa where there’s a vast mix of ethnic, cultural and religiously diverse people.

We have a big pool to choose from and only the best should be chosen.

Politics should only come into sport when corruption is revealed.

Not for any other reason.

How did you feel about the Caster Semenya debacle?

I wasn’t following the controversy that closely because I was training.

I do think her case could’ve been handled better.

She’s a very hard-working athlete and I know that for a fact.

What’s next in your busy diary?

I am training for the next Olympics right now.


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