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Athletics: unwanted by the Paralympics, volunteer at church, Oscar Pistorius tries to rebuild his life

Former South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was released from prison on January 5 and placed on parole eleven years after the murder of his partner Reeva Steenkamp.

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Athletics: unwanted by the Paralympics, volunteer at church, Oscar Pistorius tries to rebuild his life

Former South African Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius was released from prison on January 5 and placed on parole eleven years after the murder of his partner Reeva Steenkamp. The 37-year-old former athlete who had both legs amputated served half of his sentence before returning to a life outside the prison world.

Three months after this release on parole, Pistorius is trying to rebuild his life, still in his native country. The New York Post investigated the new life of the ex-champion based in Pretoria. According to the American daily, he contacted the Paralympic Committee hoping for an outstretched hand and the possibility of working but the response was negative. “He’s too toxic to work with now,” one of the members approached told the American media before adding: “There’s nothing for him here.”

Hero of his country in 2012 when he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, Pistorius is today hosted by an uncle who has a luxurious property, very protected and allowing him to live sheltered from prying eyes. According to the New York Post, he is not forced to wear an electronic bracelet but he must take regular alcohol and drug tests. He does not have the right to contact the family of his ex-partner and cannot grant an interview or express himself on social networks.

To fill his days and be useful to the community, he signed up as a volunteer at NG Kerk Waterkloof, a Dutch Reformed Church attended by his uncle. There, he carries out maintenance work and takes care of the janitorial service, indicates the NY Post.

The South African also attends the services but the character known to all his compatriots has visibly changed. “I almost didn’t recognize him,” said a witness who saw him at church. “His hair is longer and he has a beard. He's also not as skinny as I expected. You would never know he was an athlete. He’s just not the same.”

Another member of the parish described Oscar Pistorius as a man “neither friendly nor outgoing”, before clarifying: “I don’t even know if I saw him smile. He is nothing more than a shadow of what he once was.”

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