Paralympians are hardcore - Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius says London 2012 has proved that the Paralympics is about 'hardcore sport'
Oscar Pistorius believes London 2012 has proved that the Paralympic Games is not just about inspirational stories, but "hardcore sport".
The South African brought the curtain down on a summer of action at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday night with a belated first gold medal of the Games, emphatically winning the 400 metres title and he leaves London with the impression the public perception of the Paralympics has changed.
"I think people are going to look back at this Paralympic Games and for the first time really, truly believe that Paralympic sport is not just inspirational, it's hardcore sport," he said. "It's full of triumph, sometimes it has disappointment, but that's what we look for in sport."
He added: "We want it to be competitive and that's what it's been about. I couldn't have hoped for anything better, this has been one of the biggest highlights of my life."
It was a fine way to end a week which had started in hugely controversial circumstances for the 25-year-old, after he launched a furious attack on the long blades worn by Alan Fonteles Oliveira after the Brazilian beat him to 200m gold.
Pistorius has since apologised and been at pains not to re-enter the debate, however many times he is asked. And, following that, Pistorius lost his 100m title to British teenager Jonnie Peacock.
But, regardless of his farewell win, Pistorius' claims minutes after he stepped off the track after the 200m that he was not competing on a level playing field have overshadowed his achievements on it.
Oliveira certainly ran a bizarre 400m race on Saturday night, staying with Pistorius for the first half of the race and then tying up so badly he missed out on a medal. He said afterward he had not trained for the event and "suffered" at the end.
The South African admitted plenty of things about the Brazilian "baffle" him, not least his decision to use starting blocks in the 400m and not in the 100m, but he has learned the hard way to go into no more details.
"That's about all I can say about that," he said.
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