Pistorius Takes International Honor for Sportsman With Disabilities

Oscar Pistorius Image courtesy of Laureus.

On Feb. 6, the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards in London honored Oscar Pistorius of South Africa as Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. The Laureus World Sport Academy also honored many international athletes at the ceremony.

The nominees for World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability were

  • Daniel Dias (Brazil), swimming – won 11 gold medals in 11 events at the Parapan Games
  • Terezinha Guilhermina (Brazil), athletics – won four gold medals in IPC World Championships
  • Oscar Pistorius (South Africa), athletics – first amputee to win track medal in nondisabled World Championships
  • Esther Vergeer (the Netherlands), wheelchair tennis – unbeaten in singles for more than eight years
  • David Weir (United Kingdom), wheelchair athletics – won 3 gold medals in IPC World Championships
  • Irek Zaripov (Russia), nordic skiing – won 6 medals in IPC World Skiing Championships

"I think Paralympic sports have come an extremely long way, and I'm excited to see that international people that have never been exposed to Paralympic sports, that have very limited knowledge about people living with disabilities, are going to be able to witness it firsthand, and I think their perceptions are definitely changing," said Oscar PISTORIUS, speaking to the Laureus Web site in a recent interview. "The Laureus Awards and being nominated in these fields definitely does show that the platform that Paralympic sports is operating on is growing tremendously, and it makes me very proud."

The Laureus World Sports Academy, a sports jury composed of 47 athletes from around the world, selected the winners.