NEWS

Ottawa double amputee inspired by 'blade runner'

08/05/2012 05:02 EDT | Updated 10/05/2012 05:12 EDT
One Ottawa family is closely following the story of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius — the so-called "blade runner" — who has artificial legs below the knees and made Olympic history by qualifying for Sunday's semi-finals in the men's 400-metre race.

Master Cpl. Jody Mitic is also a double amputee, having lost his legs in Afghanistan.

His wife, Alannah Gilmore, was the soldier who treated his injuries in the war zone, and later married him.

Mitic says the success of Pistorius is inspiring amputees around the world.

"Oscar, he's changed the world, is what he's done," Mitic said Saturday.

"To be able to do that, when he's got no feet, is beyond phenomenal," said Gilmore.

However, Mitic isn't just watching from the sidelines. He is also a blade runner and has competed in marathons against able-bodied runners.

"The bar is being set higher. Things are moving, gates are opening, and Oscar's the beginning. The world is different now. Things are changing," Mitic said.

"I might have still been in the hospital, and someone handed me an article about this kid [Pistorius]. The article said his goal is to be in the Olympics."

It was a tale of perseverance that lifted Mitic from the depths of depression at the time.

"He's definitely one to keep an eye on if you need a bit of a kick in the ass," Mitic said.

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