The rise and fall of Oscar Pistorius chronicled in new ESPN documentary

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Oscar Pistorius.
Oscar Pistorius.
Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
  • A new documentary The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius will premiere exclusively on ESPN.
  • The four-part series will showcase his rise to athletic superstardom and his ultimate downfall.
  • The series will air weekly from Thursday, 19 November at 20:00 on ESPN (DStv 218).

A new four-part documentary on ESPN will chronicle the rise and downfall of the former athlete Oscar Pistorius.

Part of ESPN's award-winning 30 for 30 series, The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius will premiere weekly from Thursday 19 November at 20:00 on ESPN (DStv 218) with repeats each Sunday at 20:00 from 22 November.

Directed by BAFTA award-winner Daniel Gordon (HillsboroughGeorge Best: All By Himself) and produced by Academy Award-winner John Battsek (Searching for SugarmanOne Day in September), the documentary tells the story of the South African Paralympic sprinter and international hero, who had inspired millions with his determination and dedication – and who was then suddenly at the centre of a murder investigation.

The circumstances that surrounded the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp became just as much a story of the time as his initial rise to glory.


The series features interviews with more than a dozen figures closest to the story; the film recounts Oscar's fall from grace after killing his girlfriend Reeva in the wee hours of 14 February 2013 in his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

According to Oscar, the event was a tragic accident, but his troubled past and questionable testimony cast doubt on his innocence. As the saga unfolds, the story flashes back to the very beginning of the future Paralympic star's life, chronicling his improbable ascent from a young boy who had both his undeveloped legs amputated as a toddler to overnight teenage phenomenon at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

Shattering records and convention, "The Blade Runner," as he became known, then went on a quest to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympics. His struggle against international track and field officials continued for years before Oscar finally prevailed and competed at the London Olympics in 2012. Less than a year later, he was in a South African courtroom, accused of murdering his girlfriend.

"The story of Oscar Pistorius is remarkable in its complexity. It's at once inspirational and harrowing, and provides a lens of insight into a breadth of issues – from gender-based violence to disability rights, racial inequality and media frenzy. My hope is that the film gives audiences additional context and layers to a story they think they know."
-- Director, Daniel Gordon

Broadcast information

ESPN (DStv 218)

Part 1: Thursday 19 November at 20:00. Repeat on Sunday 22 November at 20:00.

Part 2: Thursday 26 November at 20:00. Repeat on Sunday 29 November at 20:00.

Part 3: Thursday 3 December at 20:00. Repeat on Sunday 6 December at 20:00.

Part 4: Thursday 10 December at 20:00. Repeat on Sunday 13 December at 20:00.

The films will also be available to view on DStv Catch Up and the ESPN Player App.

Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht

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