It always hurts when one of your champions falls from grace. Seeing the headline “Double-amputee Olympian charged with premeditated murder” was as unexpected to me as a meteor exploding over Russia.

I’ve always had a special admiration for amputees and others in the Mobility Challenged Club excelling at anything to the point of gaining national and worldwide acclaim.

Many of us who are mobility challenged feel like it is a good day when we can get ourselves out of bed, showered and dressed before getting onto our wheeled steed to face another 24 hours.

Watching videos of Oscar Pistorius whipping around the track on a couple of metal blades filled me with the hope a mobility challenge can’t keep a good man down.

It was just a little more than six months ago when Pistorius made history in the London Paralympic Games when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympics. He didn’t win a medal but did make the semifinals of the 400 meters and became an international star.

Imagine my shock and disgust at reading the South African headlines about this Paralympic Champion tearfully facing a courtroom where he will go on trial facing a lifetime sentence.

It wasn’t much of a Valentine’s Day gift; allegedly pumping four shots through your own shower door and into the body of your girlfriend, claiming you were shooting at a home invader.

I hadn’t gotten to the point of esteem on my part, but I imagine many in the handicap world had come close to idolizing Pistorius for his accomplishments.

God has never looked favorably on idolization and in most cases the idol fairs worse than those doing the idolizing. That seems to be the case for Pistorius.

He’s not far removed from the likes of Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong. Though not handicapped, this pair also let down a massive public following. Murder is more severe than cheating on a wife or competition, but these men also disappointed their fans.

I can’t imagine what gets into our sports heroes’ heads when they turn towards the dark side like this.

Personally, I have never risen to such fame. If these are the results, you can be sure it will never be a goal.

My love for God and my wife are the two places where I want to win praise.

Of course this will never draw public acclaim, and perhaps that is the flaw. How can you hold a God in awe if you are wrestling with being god-like in your own mirror? Here’s hoping others in the public eye can prove to be better role models.

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About Reg Hardy

Reg Hardy is a candid 73 year old Navy veteran who lives with Multiple Sclerosis. Years of using a wheelchair gives him a unique insight into the challenges faced by those with mobility issues. He lends his distinctive voice to two websites that share his passions– scale modeling and helping others meet their mobility challenges. Reg is now writing exclusive content for AMS.

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