Oscar Pistorius & Reeva Steenkamp: 9 Things To Know About The Couple

Oscar Pistorious, 26, a Paralympian and Olympian and inspiration to athletes around the world, was arrested today — Valentine’s Day — and charged with murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.

Police responded to a 3 a.m. call about gunshots in Pistorius’ upscale neighborhood of Silver Woods in Pretoria, South Africa, where Steenkamp, 30, was found dead with four bullet wounds. A police spokesperson told The New York Times that police had previously responded “allegations of a domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home. Police recovered a 9mm pistol from the scene.

After the jump, nine things to know about Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius.

  1. Pistorius was born with a congenital condition that left him without fibula bones in his legs and was amputated below the knee as an 11-month-old. 
  2. He wears carbon fiber prosthetic blades, earning him the nickname “Blade Runner.”
  3. He made history as the first double amputee sprinter to compete in the 2012 Olympics Games.
  4. Prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, he won two gold medals and a silver medal at the Paralympics.
  5. Reeva Steenkamp is from Cape Town, South Africa, and modeled for Avon and magazines like FHM. She had also graduated law school. Steenkamp was to appear on a  South African reality show called “Tropika Island of Treasure 5,” which sounds similar to “Survivor,” only with celebrities. The first episode of “Tropika” was set to air this weekend.
  6. She had publicly spoken out on Twitter about violence against women.
  7. Initial reports, which have since been discredited, claimed Pistorius had shot Steenkamp when she woke up him by surprise on Valentine’s Day because he had mistaken her for an intruder. (Sky News reports that Pistorius kept several guns and bats in his home to safeguard against intruders, given South Africa’s high crime rate.)
  8. Steenkamp’s publicist has said the couple “healthy, fabulous relationship.” As recently as yesterday, Steenkamp had tweeted, “What have you got up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited”
  9. Last year, TIME magazine listed Pistorius as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

What a terribly sad story.  Our thoughts go out to the victim’s family.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE. You can find more information on TheHotline.org

[New York Times]
[Sky News]
[Sky News]
[Guardian UK]

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[Photo: WENN]