Pistorius family no stranger to crisis

NEED TO KNOW
  • Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend
  • His brother is also facing unrelated murder charge
Pistorius family no stranger to crisis

What's next for Olympian Oscar Pistorius?

What's next for Olympian Oscar Pistorius?

The Pistorius family is dealing with dual crises as brothers Oscar and Carl Pistorius' face unrelated murder charges in South Africa.

As the investigation into the death of Oscar's model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp unfolds, it is clear there is more to learn about the athlete than what the world has seen from his international track races.

Patriarch Henke Pistorius has been in court with other family members supporting his younger son, Oscar, in his bail hearing. At one point last week, Henke was seen reaching out to his son to comfort him while he sobbed.

Carl Pistorius is facing culpable homicide charges after a fatal traffic accident in 2010.

Not much is known about the other members of the Pistorious family, but Oscar's uncle Arnold Pistorius has defended his nephew in the press.

"Although we are obviously relieved that Oscar has been granted bail, this is still a very sad time for the family of Reeva and for us. We are grateful that the Magistrate recognised the validity and strength of our application. As the family, we are convinced that Oscar's version of what happened on that terrible night will prove to be true." said Arnold Pistorius.

Oscar is living with his uncle while he is out on bail awaiting his trial, which is scheduled for June 4.

Read more: 'Blade Runner' granted bail

At 26, Oscar Pistorius is the second of three children. Carl, 28, is his older brother, and Aimee, 23, is his younger sister.

Henke Pistorius works at a dolomite mine, and his wife Sheila worked as a school guidance counselor. Sheila died in 2002, when Oscar was 15 years old.

Oscar Pistorius ran on to one of the largest world stages when he qualified to compete in the 2012 London Olympics, and endeared himself to millions with his story of perseverance. Pistorius was the first athlete to compete in both the Paralympic Games for the disabled and the conventional Olympics.

Pistorius was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 22, 1986. He had a birth defect known as fibular hemimelia, which means he was missing bones in his lower legs. Doctors amputated his legs before he learned to walk so he could be fitted with prosthetic limbs.

"Six months later he received his first pair of prosthetic legs and within days he had mastered them," according to his biography on OscarPistorius.com, his official site.

Eventually, Pistorius was nicknamed "Blade Runner" for his cutting edge carbon fiber prosthetic limbs.

At 16, Pistorius began his track career after his knee was injured playing rugby. Pistorius' website says he broke the 100-meter Paralympic world record when he was 17. His first Paralympics was at the Athens games in 2004. Through his success there, he eventually got a chance to race able-bodied athletes in international competition in July 2007.

On February 21, 2009, Pistorius almost died in a boat accident on the Vaal River near Johannesburg. His website says he suffered serious head and facial injuries and was in intensive care for five days.

After scientific testing showed Pistorius did not have an advantage over able-bodied athletes, the international governing body of track and field allowed him to participate in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

His coach said Friday before Pistorius' bail decision that should he be let out on bail, the runner would continue to train.

 

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