VSL:WEB // See the Olympics you didn’t see

Earlier this year, Oscar Pistorius (a.k.a. the Blade Runner) came within a hair’s breadth of making South Africa’s Olympic team. The achievement was a clear demonstration that in time, double amputees may well outpace able-bodied competitors. And meanwhile, it’s worth remembering that there’s more than one games in town.

Earlier this month, SI Online posted a remarkable photo essay from the just-wrapped Paralympics in Beijing. Four thousand disabled athletes competed in the same Olympic venues we saw this August: the Indoor Stadium, the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube. There were soccer games between teams of visually impaired players — all of whom wore blindfolds to even things out — and a shot-put event in which the athletes strapped themselves into wheelchairs before rolling onto the pitch. Army 1st Lieut. Melissa Stockwell, who lost her left leg to an IED in Baghdad in 2004, was a special favorite of the Americans. And Oscar Pistorius won three golds, setting three Paralympic records. As for the photographs — they’re as extraordinary as the athletes themselves.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.