Category: London 2012 Paralympics


In writing this article, I am breaking a promise to myself not to wade into the trial of Oscar Pistorius. It is not the case itself that I wish to address, moreover the saddening way in which the trial has ceased to become about the justice system in South Africa, and has devolved into a soap opera for our entertainment.

In the dock | Paralympian Oscar Pistorius stands in court in Pretoria, South Africa. (Image | The People)

In the dock | Paralympian Oscar Pistorius stands in court facing the charge of premeditated murder in Pretoria, South Africa. (Image | The People)

This was demonstrated when the presiding magistrate, Desmond Nair, granted Pistorius bail. However, before doing so, he explained at length his reasons behind his decision, which took almost two hours.

A flurry of tweets followed, mocking Nair for how long he was taking to reveal whether or not Pistorius would be granted bail. The subtext of these tweets was simple: “We’re bored. Skip to the end. Are you going to grant bail or not?”

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People love stories, particularly tales of greatness, and a major reason as to why the London 2012 Olympic Games held such thrall in Britain was the daily accounts of athletes finding the best of themselves.

Enn-chanting | Jessica Ennis storms to first place in the 200m, part of her hepthathlon glory at London 2012. (Image | Evening Standard)

Enn-chanting | Jessica Ennis storms to first place in the 200m, part of her heptathlon triumph at the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Image | Evening Standard)

We had yarns of the woman who grabbed her last chance of glory, Katherine Grainger; the chosen one adored by her public, Jessica Ennis; or the wounded king that ruthlessly crushed those who would usurp him, Usain Bolt. They were the legends of our time, not just athletes.

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Tough call | The line up for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 could look rather like an early release of the New Year’s honours list. (Image | BBC)

Normally there is a shoe-in for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. Either that, or a dark horse is chosen once in a blue moon, as Ryan Giggs was back in 2009. By definition, the award recognises the sportsperson “whose actions have most captured the public’s imagination”. Created back in 1954, the titular category has rewarded figures from the world of athletics more than any other discipline, with 17 individuals selected in first place having been athletes.

With Team GB having excelled in a variety of areas across the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this is likely to continue. However, the success of individuals from the home nations leaves what Premier League managers would describe as a “headache”, a conundrum. It is a rather nice problem to have, it must be said.

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