The Olympic spirit lit up the world in the last couple of weeks. People from all different nations were not only rooting for their own athletes, but also for inspirational figures like Oscar Pistorius, who was the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics among able bodied athletes.
Pistorius was born with a congenital absence of the fibula. His parents were faced with a choice; amputate, or leave his legs as is. They chose to amputate and in doing so, allowed him to be able to walk with prosthetic legs.
His parents never treated him any differently than his brother. As Pistorius says,
“My mother used to tell us in the mornings, ‘Carl put on your shoes, Oscar you put on your prosthetic legs… So I grew up not really thinking I had a disability. I grew up thinking I had different shoes.”
In addition to the training, he still had to overcome many more obstacles to become an Olympian than the other athletes. He not only had to fight to become the best he could be, but also to be able to compete against able bodied athletes.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided that his carbon fiber blades gave him an unfair advantage over other competitors and banned him from competition. Fortunately, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned that decision in 2008 and the road was clear for Pistorius to compete in the Olympics. He did not qualify for Beijing in 2008, but did so for the 2012 Games in London.
Oscar Pistorius’ story inspired so many people, not in the least the Olympic Champion of the 400 meters, the event that Pistorius made the semi finals in. Grenada’s Kirani James asked Pistorius to exchange name bibs with him in a really touching moment. (I admit, it made me cry…)
Possibilities Instead of Limitations
Just imagine all the people who watched him and realized that they not only can chase their dreams, they can create dreams that they wouldn’t have thought possible before seeing Pistorius compete in the Olympics. All of a sudden, possibilities take the place of limitations. Oscar Pistorius is a Light Bearer in my book, even if he doesn’t match the entire definition. (What do you think? Leave a comment!)
Marnie Pehrson defines Light Bearer in her new Christian book, “Light the World: How Your Brilliance Can Shift The Planet” as follows:
“A Light Bearer is a wise, intuitive inspired creative, who lovingly lights the way for others. A Light Bearer is passionate about assisting people in breaking free from bondage to attain ultimate freedom (whether the chains are of one’s own making, generational, or inflicted by others). Light Bearers are courageous leaders for not only the rising generation but also for lifelong learners of any age.”
Your story may not be on the scale of the Pistorius story, but you too, can be a Light Bearer. Chances are you have had some struggles of your own and came out the other side better than ever. You have learned important lessons to pass on to others who are in that same situation. You may not think that you are worthy of sharing your story, of teaching your lessons. However, if you don’t, you are leaving countless others in the dark.
If you feel the drive to help others and change the world, you will love Marnie’s Christian book. She talks about the importance of Light Bearers and about the 6 phases of becoming a Light Bearer. She also shares 7 ways to create a world-changing movement and lots of great resources.
Meanwhile Oscar’s running continues to light the world for countless kids and adults that now see possibilities instead of their limitations. Tell me… is Oscar Pistorius a Light Bearer?