Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:04 pm
Runner's Twitter feed is a long victory lap
By ROB HARRISAP Sports Writer
More than 230,000 Twitter followers have been given a glimpse into a life of fast cars and luxury holidays as the hero was feted by an adoring public. The "Blade Runner" has reveled in the fame that came from becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics.
Among dozens of tweets in recent weeks, there are only a scattering of references to the girlfriend he is now accused of killing earlier Thursday.
Quoting a tweet from Reeva Steenkamp on Dec. 6 - "Wondering what my stalker is up to? Kinda miss him lurking around 2nyt" - Pistorius replies: "Heard he is taking a water break with the boys!;)"
Steenkamp gushed over Pistorius on Twitter, seeming to relish going out with one of South Africa's biggest stars.
By contrast, there was little outpouring of affection from Pistorius, although there was no indication their relationship had soured or that his mindset had darkened.
The only reference to guns was a Twitter image of him on Nov. 28, 2011, firing off rounds at a shooting range, and a boast: "Had a 96% headshot over 300m from 50shots! Bam!")
Steenkamp was shot four times at Pistorius' home in Pretoria early on Thursday.
With his arrest and charge, Pistorius went from podium to police cell.
At the Olympics in August, Pistorius reached the finals of the 4x400 relay and semifinal in the 400 sprint, with his carbon fiber blades clattering into the history books on the London track.
But the script didn't go to plan when the Paralympics started later in the month.
The 100 and 200 titles were lost in a blaze of fury as he became embroiled in a public row with the rival he accused of unfairly using lengthened blades to win the 200.
Only in the final event, the 400, did Pistorius finally collect an individual gold.
While his carefully honed public image - as the poster boy for Paralympic sport - was a little tarnished by his outbursts, Pistorius has spent the time since then, on Twitter in particular, displaying the softer side that enthralled sports fans and the general public alike.
"Don't sweat the small things and chase your aspirations," he tweeted on Jan. 29, while posting an image of a quote from Walt Disney: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
At the start of December he retweeted a series of motivational messages.
"Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those cards you hold well."
And from Oscar Wilde: "A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally."
Displaying his religious side, Pistorius peppered his timeline with references to his faith, including: "God is good all the time, all the time God is good!"
As he prepared to see in 2013, Pistorius wrote: "Had a blessed day today. Grateful for the type of people I have in my life."
But his Twitter timeline more regularly featured self-portraits sunning himself or posing among the great and the good at conferences or glitzy events.
In his last personal tweet on Feb. 11, Pistorius was looking forward to the launch of his foundation in July to help 10 disabled children.
It was a reminder of how Pistorius had overcome difficulties since having both legs amputated below the knee in the first year of his life.