Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - ‘Blade runner’ apologises for timing of sharp words

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has apologised for the timing of controversial comments made about the winner of his 200m race.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 3 September

‘Blade runner’ apologises for timing of sharp words

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has apologised for the timing of controversial comments made about the winner of his 200m race.

The South African set a new world record of 21.30seconds in the semi-finals, but he was beaten in the T44 200m final by Brazilian Alan Fonteles Oliveira. The race was won in a time of 21.45s, with Pistorius coming in second in 21.52s.

Pistorius claimed directly after the race that Oliveira’s artificial legs were too long, allowing him to make bigger strides. He told Channel 4: “We are not running in a fair race here.

“There’s not even another Paralympic amputee to run a 21 second race,” he said, “let alone a 21.4sec.”

Despite releasing a statement to the Press Association this morning apologising for the timing of his comments, Pistorius still maintained that there were concerns over longer blade lengths that needed to be addressed by the International Paralympic Committee.

He said: “I would never want to detract from another athlete’s moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday’s race.

“I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the IPC but I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong.”

A spokesman for the IPC said that a meeting will be set up with Pistorius to discuss the matter, however a statement released today rejected his claim that Oliveira had any unfair advantage.

“All athletes competing in the Men’s 200m T44 final were checked by international classifiers in the Call Room ahead of the race. All were within the regulations outlined in the IPC Athletics Classification Handbook.”

Questions for discussion

For primary:

  • Can you think of a time when you were upset because things didn’t go your way?
  • How should you behave towards somebody who has done better than you in a competition?

For secondary:

  • What is 'sportsmanship'? Do you think it is important?
  • Is it better to cheat and win or to play fair and lose?

Related resources

Achieve – lessons from sporting personalities

  • Inspire your students to have the confidence to succeed with this presentation on the obstacles overcome by Olympic and Paralympic athletes

Oscar Pistorius – blade runner assembly

  • Tell the story of the South African’s triumph over adversity with this assembly from Spire.


  • This diverse group of resources has a range of activities and ideas linked to the Paralympic Games.

Ethics and values in sport

  • Teach your students about sportsmanship with this help of this PowerPoint presentation and related worksheets.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

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Those once considered penny-pinching can now congratulate themselves for being chic savers; a new survey reveals Britons think saving money is cool.

Billy Elliott director Stephen Daldry's Paralympic opening ceremony 'Enlightenment' will include more than 3,000 volunteers. Soldiers undergoing rehabilitation, children and professionals will perform in the Olympic stadium on Wednesday 29 August.

In the news archive index