Rosa parks rocked back and forth in her seat as the boss made its way through downtown. It felt like another normal day. The air was hot and the sun cast long shadows down the sleepy Alabama street as it did every day. The bus stopped outside the Empire Theater Rosa watched as a group of white passengers stepped on board and move to their seats but one of the new white passengers was left standing the whites. Only section at the front of the bus was full. The bus driver ordered a row of black passengers to stand stand up and make room for the man three passengers complied but Rosa didn't. She didn't feel like moving the driver driver. I'd Rosa through the rear view mirror once more. He ordered her to move. She met his gaze and continued to sit defiant. She wasn't going anywhere at least not of her own free will she couldn't know it at the time but Rosa Rosa Parks had just made herself a symbol that would spurn one of the most successful protests in American history. Hi I'm Vanessa Richardson. Send and I'm Carter Roy Welcome to historical figures apar- cast original every other Wednesday. We discuss different persons lasting historical compact unique personality and impression on the world around them. You can find episodes of historical figures and all other par- cast originals four free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream historical figures for free on spotify just open the APP tap browse and type historical figures in the search bar that podcast. We are grateful for you our listeners when you allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach shout on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network and if you enjoyed today's episode the best way to help us is to leave a five star review. See you wherever you're listening. It really does help we also now have merchandise head to park cast dot com slash merch for more information our our audio biographies cover big lives but we like to focus on little known facts. Today we're discussing. Rosa parks dubbed the mother of the Civil Civil Rights movement. She's most famous today for refusing to give up a seat on a bus in Montgomery Alabama. Her Act of Resistance Against Racist Segregation Segregation launched a boycott that proved pivotal to the fight for racial equality but Rosas activism extended beyond bus protests. It's an active member of the N. double. ACP Rosa championed black victims of sexual assault organized acts of civil disobedience and founded educational initiatives for disadvantaged students of Color Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise as MacAulay on February fourth nineteen thirteen INTAS Gigi Alabama her early life was unstable as her parents separated when Rosa it was only two roses birthplace in Gigi insured. She grew up in the center of the nascent civil rights movement prominent Black Intellectual Booker. T. Washington was active there as soon as Rosa was old enough to understand issues of race. She was hyper aware of the inequality as well every Sunday she worshiped at the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Historically Black denomination initially founded to promote an abolitionist geology and then later devoted to racial equality. When Rosa was eleven years old she moved with her mother and brother to Montgomery Alabama Alabama where her grandparents lived there. She continued her harsh education about racial politics by the early nineteen twenties the white supremacist hate group that Ku Klux Klan was increasingly active for a decade after the civil war the K. K. K. had terrorized people of color color in the southern United States the hate group had declined to the point of nearly disbanding in the late eighteen hundreds but white supremacy experienced a resurgence surgeons in response to the growing number of immigrants in the US by the time Rosa was a young child the KKK boasted more than four million Leeann active members fearful of racially motivated attacks each evening roses grandfather laid a loaded shotgun across his lap APP and slept in a rocking chair near the front door eager to help defend her home and family. Rosa took to sleeping on the floor beside him. You're so when Rosa Parks was eleven. Her mother enrolled her in the private segregated Montgomery Industrial School for girls. It was the best education available to a black girl in the city despite her young age Rosa had to work to pay for her tuition. She took a janitorial job at the school pool cleaning up rooms after classes and every day she saw little reminders of the inequality she faced the white students had a bus Rosa and other black students didn't she walked to school every day. Even in the winter in her autobiography biography Rosa Parks My story Rosa wrote. I'd see the bus pass every day but to me. That was a way of life we we had no choice but to accept. What was the custom. The bus was among the first ways I realized there was a black world and a white world hold on during her walks. Rosa often passed by white children and adults who would shout racial slurs at her unprovoked. Some children even tossed pasta rocks at her as she walked by to cope with the stress. Rosa found comfort in her religious beliefs. She reminded herself that her bullies were simply lost sinners and prayed for them while they harassed her. She knew she couldn't do anything more concrete to defend herself because the police wouldn't look kindly on a black girl fighting white people even if they'd started it. Rosa attended high school at the laboratory school at the historically Black Alabama state teachers college but unfortunately she had to drop out a year later to help care for her ailing grandmother shortly after Rose's Rose's grandmother died her mother to grew. Ill now the family's primary caretaker. Rosa needed to work to support them and provide medical medical care education was out of the question at least until someone new entered Rosa's life and encouraged her to go back to school in Nineteen thirty one when Rosa was eighteen a mutual friend introduced her to a twenty eight year old barber named Raymond Parks. It was clear during their very first meeting that Raymond was romantically interested in her but Rosa didn't return his affection one of her biggest reservations nations lay in the fact that Raymond was a light skinned black man Rosa didn't find him physically attractive and she also doubted that a man and who could pass for white could really understand her day to day struggles as a dark skinned black woman however as their friendship blossomed Rosa learned that Raymond was passionate civil rights advocate and a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People War N. double. ACP She was surprised to find that although Raymond dressed well and was an intelligent and thoughtful speaker he barely attended school at all aw thanks to segregation in time a romance blossomed between Raymond and Rosa and they were married on December eighteenth nineteen thirty thirty two when she was nineteen and he was twenty nine Raymond Encourage Rosa to pursue the education he'd never ever had and with his support. She returned to high school and finally completed her degree. Soon after Rosa got a job as a seamstress at a department store you're while Raymond continued on his work with the N. double. ACP although Rosa and Raymond shared beliefs about equal rights initially she kept her her distance from the organization N. Double ACP members feared reprisal from white supremacists and they regularly came to meetings heavily armed should did they need to defend themselves on one occasion. Raymond volunteered to host a meeting at his in Rosa's house shaken by the number of men who arrived lived armed Rosa walked out of the House and sat on the porch hunched over with her head between her knees while the men inside discussed politics Sushi's sat alone in the dark waiting and fear for the first bullets to fly in the moment Rosa was paralyzed by fear violence silence but long-term she grew increasingly frustrated with these sexist assumption that her husband could take risks and join the N. double. ACP while she she needed to be shielded from it so in nineteen forty three thirty year old Rosa finally joined for herself once again sexism reared its head at the N. double ACP as the only woman to attend on her first night. Rosa was tasked with taking taking meeting notes. She was elected secretary at that same meeting but she soon had the opportunity to advocate for women and Black people alike has the chapter began to examine the racial inequality in how police investigated sexual assaults. It was all too common at the time for black men to be falsely accused of raping white women if those men were lucky they'd go to court but still have to plead their case before racist judges judges and juries if they were unlucky. The accused were often lynched by white mobs before their trials began black. Women men also suffered from unjust investigations when they filed reports. The police rarely took their cases seriously rape survivors of have color had few opportunities to pursue justice especially if their attacker was white a particularly egregious case involved a woman named re resc- Taylor on the evening of September third nineteen forty four was walking home from church with two friends when a group of white men abducted abducted her and gang raped her after the assault REC- reported to the police what had happened her friend corroborated the account a few hours later a police officer found the rapists and asked if they had an alibi imen- confess that they'd raped reecey and the police halted the investigation there without pressing charges news of this crime and the polices inaction made it back to the N. Double Lacey Pe- later that month Rosa volunteered to investigate receives case firsthand not only to uncover the truth of the matter but also so to draw national attention to the injustice but before Rosa could capture the attention of the press. She drew scrutiny from the police piece. She stepped off the bus near receives home in Abbeville Alabama to find the sheriff armed and waiting for her already. Roseau walked right right past him to enter Recipes House for the duration of their meeting. Rosen noticed the patrol car that drove back and forth in front of the house she he was resolved to just ignore the police until receives front door burst open and the sheriff stepped inside. He warned Rosa that he didn't approve. You've of troublemakers and urged her to leave. Rosa packed up her belongings and departed. She was content to let the sheriff think he'd. He'd won this battle. She bring him the war up next. I we'll discuss how Rosa parks and the N. double. ACP advocated for rec- Taylor fame money obsession. These things can make athletes seem superhuman but what happens when those in professional sports reveal the darker side of their humanity every week minute show sports criminals investigate some of the most significant sports crimes throughout the world and we explore explore the dramatic collision course are most revered athletes and the underbelly of society you'll learn about these athletes rise through competitive sports and and how the discipline and motivation that brought them to the top served a push them into their downfall. Whether you're a rabid fan or a passive observer these stories carry significance significance for us all listen and subscribed to sports criminals for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts and if you hang around after the end of the show you can hear a clip of the first episode of sports criminals now back to the story in September nineteen forty four thirty one year old N. w. c. p. activist Rosa Parks met met with rape survivor rec- Taylor in Abbeville Alabama local police tried to stem roses advocacy attempting to intimidate and even threaten in her into letting receives case disappear the moment she was back in Montgomery Rosa returned to the end of Lacey Pe- office and explained the encounter counter to their President Edgar Nixon in response to the police's tactics. Rosa and Nixon founded the committee for equal justice for the rights of Mrs Mrs Resea- Taylor as subgroup of the N. double. ACP This committee was comprised of a dozen leading black activists that were dedicated to making taking Taylor story public knowledge. They sent dozens of letters to the office of Alabama Governor Chauncey sparks urging him take the case to trial in one letter Rosa wrote. I know that you will not fail to let the people of Alabama know that there is aqel justice for all citizens roses efforts paid off and the incident was picked up by local newspapers then by press around the nation by February of nineteen forty five Alabama. Governor sparks was forced to take action. He reluctantly agreed to launch a second can special grand jury investigation into the crime but the special jury ultimately brought no charges against the accused rapists. Rosa was furious all her efforts had stirred up public support an outrage but Taylor still couldn't secure justice one by one. The frustrations of dealing with inequality on a daily basis started to build up a year earlier. Rosa Rosa had had a memorable encounter of her own. The Montgomery bus system was becoming a lightning rod for political controversy in part because of the extreme lengths they went to in the name of segregation for example bus tickets could only be purchased at the front of the vehicle meaning meaning all riders had to use the front doors to buy their ticket but Montgomery buses also had segregated entrances one for white people at the front and and another for black passengers at the back when a black person wanted to take the bus she'd have to board at the front purchaser ticket then and leave and re board through the back doors. The ridiculous policy served no practical purpose. It was only there to embarrass an inconvenience black black riders on a rainy day in nineteen forty-three. Rosa boarded a public bus in downtown. Montgomery reluctant to go back out into the rain mm-hmm. She instead walked directly back to a seat without exiting and re entering through the back door. The driver James F Blake was is infuriated. He ordered Rosa to exit and re enter through her designated entrance twice. Rosa refused so oh blake grab. Rosa dragged her outside and threw out into the rain before she had a chance to process what had happened. The bus pulled away a stranding her. The whole ordeal was incredibly traumatizing for Rosa in her autobiography she wrote. I never wanted wanted to be on that man's bus again after that. I made a point of looking at who was driving the bus before I got on. I didn't want any more run. INS is with that mean. One Rosa wasn't the only person who is sick and tired of discrimination on the buses in nineteen fifty five fifteen year old girl named Claudette Colvin was riding the bus home from Booker T. Washington high school in Montgomery. The bus was was crowded that day and cove and was asked to stand so a white woman could take her seat. Kovin refused the bus driver ordered cove and and to get up but Kovin held her ground this escalated to the point that the police were called and Coleman was arrested at at that time Montgomery had several contradictory laws regarding segregation a symptom of the push and pull between civil rights activists and the racist cyst establishment so one law not only permitted but required the bus driver to have cloven arrested while another protected cove ines right it to any seat. She wanted the N. double. ACP had long been looking for an opportunity to challenge the pro segregation laws and have them formally formerly overturned in Co.. WTN's arrests seemed like a perfect opportunity to bring Jim Crow all the way before the Supreme Court however the Organization soon learned that the teenage Kovin was pregnant out of wedlock. This should have had nothing to do with her case but at the end of the Lacey Pe- feared that juries would be less sympathetic to an unmarried mother with stakes so high they didn't WanNa take any chances chances the organization raised funds for coal WTN's defense but chose not to try to make her the new face of racial inequality. They'd have to wait for the next arrest nine months later on December first nineteen fifty five forty two year old Rosa parks boarded Ed bus number two eight five seven. It was about six. PM and she was on her way home from work at the Montgomery Fair Department Store. She paid her affair and sat down in an empty seat in the back section. She wasn't paying much attention as she boarded and didn't notice that the driver was was James F Blake the same driver who'd kicked her off the bus the previous year for not using the back door for the next three stops the bus traveled along its normal route more passengers got on and the bus slowly filled up by the time the the bus reached its third stop outside the Empire Theater. The whites only section at the front of the bus was over capacity. There was no seat for one. The white passengers in the front so blake stopped the bus and told the first row of black passengers to stand up so he could make a new row for the white writers. He said Y'all better make it light on yourself and let me have those seats. Rosa hadn't planned to make a stand that day but for whatever reason something snapped she later explained. I was not tired physically no more tired than I usually was. At the end of a working day how old I was forty two. No the only tired I was tired of giving in the rear of the black passengers stood up up Rosa didn't she later wrote when that white driver stepped back toward us when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats. I I felt a determination cover. My Body like a quilt on a winter night. Rosa remained in her seat staring at the driver. Offer Blake squinted back at her. He asked her again. Why don't you stand up. She replied. I don't think I should have to stand up then. She moved to the window seat. Further away from the Isle Lake asked her again if she was going to stand up Rosa again refused blake threatened to call the police. Rosa responded you do that so blake aac place the call while they waited. Roseau remained firmly planted in her seat. She tried to ignore the judgmental glares from the other. The riders assured that she was in the right eventually. Two policemen arrived at the scene. Blake explained the situation and Rosa was was charged with violating chapter six section eleven the Montgomery City code which enforce the segregation of public buses. They took her off the bus and drove her downtown to police headquarters along the way. She asked one of the policemen. Why do you push us around around. The officers. Response was simply. I don't know but the law's the law and your under arrest. Rosa was allowed one call at the station which he made to her husband Raymond. She told him that she had been given even a court date on December. Fifth Raymond was worried but he was also proud of his wife from making stand he promised her he would find the bail money to get her out of jail soon N. double. ACP Chapter President Edgar Nixon arrived the same night Rosa was sent to jail AOL Edgar paid her bail and had her released by then word of Rosa Parks arrest had spread to most of Alabama's black population. Rosa was an upstanding member of the community in many were astounded that she of all people would be arrested for such a minor offence offense. Edgar saw this anger in his community as an opportunity to get people mobilized later that night he visited the parks home and explained a plan to Rosa she could be the face of a new activist movement and as Rosa listened to Edgar's pitch. She felt hope spring in her chest. She was about to spark the historic. Montgomery bus boycott up next. We'll hear how roses work transformed the civil rights movement now back to the story. The black community in Montgomery Alabama was outraged following Rosa parks arrest on December first nineteen fifty five the N. double A. C. P. wanted to capitalize on roses case raising awareness as they tried to overturn Montgomery's segregation laws when they decided the best way to fight fight-back would be to boycott the Montgomery City buses on December fifth the day of Roses Trial N. double. ACP volunteers mimeographed yeah graft over thirty five thousand fliers to get the word out about the boycott they read stay off the buses Monday in protest protests of the arrest and trial. You can afford to stay out of school for one day. If you work. Take a cab or walk but please children children and grown ups. Don't ride the boss at all on Monday. These flyers were sent home with black schoolchildren and they were posted in black neighborhoods and on December fourth Nixon was even able to get an ad in the local paper on December number fifty nine thousand nine hundred fifty five around twenty people gathered at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Zion church in Montgomery to discuss the best strategies auditees for the bus boycott. They decided that if Rosa lost the case the boycott would extend beyond her trial date indefinitely to organize organiz a longer bus boycott the group elected one of their most trusted team members to spearhead the movement a twenty six year old Baptist Reverend by the name of Dr Martin Luther King Junior together with the help of the N. double. ACP He formed the Montgomery Improvement Association. Their goal was to keep the boycott going until the status. Quo Changed that day forty two year old Rosa parks stepped into the stuffy halls of the Montgomery County courthouse. She was greeted by a bustling crowd of around around five hundred local supporters cheering her on her attorney was a man named Fred Gray and accomplished lawyer preacher and and activist who graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of law he was a go getter with a strong passion for civil rights in fact upon moving to Alabama. He said he was ready to destroy everything segregated but given the racist laws in place. Rosa never stood a chance the entire trial lasted all of thirty minutes during which Rosa was convicted of disorderly conduct and and violating the local bus ordinance she was fine ten dollars plus four dollars in courtroom fees approximately one hundred and fifty dollars in today's currency all the crime of refusing to vacate a bus seat the N. double. ACP and the black community at large deemed at this verdict unacceptable Rosette should not be charged with breaking the law if that law was unethical in the first place and so the Montgomery bus boycott began it rained on the evening of December Fifth Nineteen fifty five but but even so the city buses were mostly empty forty thousand people walk through the rain to get home from work some as far as twenty twenty miles as Montgomery's black population made up about seventy percent of all bus customers. The boycott struck in early in devastating blow. The buses soon became something of a laughing stock public buses sat at the side of the road completely empty except for the drivers ars but the boycott also had an adverse effect on Rosa and her husband a week into the protest. Rosa was fired from her seamstress job he'd held for years. No reason was given about Rosa suspected. It was because of her involvement in the boycott the next week Raymond also lost his job after talking about the boycott at work but the setbacks only made the parks family all the more more resolute as weeks passed the city of Montgomery began to feel the financial impact of the boycott bus fares bears were a reliable source of income for any city and now with the boycott in full swing that revenue stream was drying up on January anuary thirtieth nineteen fifty six the fifty seventh day of the boycott. The home of Dr Martin Luther King was bombed to buy white radicals two days later Edgar. Nixon's house was also bombed but once more the black community refused is to be intimidated in the face of property damage and violence the boycott continued meanwhile roses legal troubles proliferators liberated the city of Montgomery had criminalized boycotts and on February twenty first nineteen fifty six. She was arrested once again again for her role in the movement. Her supporters once again bailed her out but she knew that the fight wasn't over yet six months after the boycott began roses attorney. Fred Gray finally managed to gain an audience with the US District Court for the Middle District Straight Valla Bama in June nineteen fifty six fred argued that state bus segregation laws were unconstitutional and violated the rights of his community on June fifth nineteen fifty-six the three judges announced their ruling two to one in favor of Fred Gray. The fight still wasn't over the city of Montgomery filed an appeal that took the case to the United States Supreme Court on November Thirteenth Nineteen nineteen fifty-six over the next month. Fred continued to fight for his community and on December seventeenth nineteen fifty six he emerged victorious the Supreme Court rejected the appeal and ruled that bus segregation was illegal at the time roses case and the accompanying boycott was the largest successful black civil rights action in US history on December nineteenth nineteen fifty six the supreme court's written order arrived at the Montgomery Court House. Segregation of buses was officially officially illegal in the city. The boycott ended the next day and Montgomery's black citizens resumed using the buses after three hundred and eighty one days of walking and taking cabs for her bravery and her vision Rosa came to be known as the mother of the civil rights movement unfortunately even after the boycott ended she continued to face further harassment and threats Rosa and her husband Raymond grew to feel so oh unsafe they eventually relocated to Detroit Michigan in nineteen fifty seven and settled near Rosa's brother Sylvester MacAulay while in Detroit Rosa became an administrative aide in the Detroit Office of Congressman John Conyers Junior. She stayed there from nineteen sixty four to to her retirement in nineteen eighty eight regarding her work at this time she said I would have to take long of a minute to and give my whole synopsis of my life but I want to let you know that are all of us. Uh should be free and equal and have equal opportunity and that is what I'm trying to instill and and curry and inspire young people to reach the high for ten zero throughout the nineteen seventies Rosa Parks donated most of her money to civil rights organizations like the N. double. ACP and witnessed the establishment of a number of equitable laws including the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act of nineteen sixty eight the nineteen seventies also proved to be some of the most personally heartbreaking years of her life on August nineteenth nineteen seventy seven her husband died of throat cancer a few months later in November nineteen seventy seven her brother also died of cancer mindful of her husband's in the ability to receive a formal education during his lifetime Rosa co-founded the Rosa Rosa l Parks Scholarship Foundation for college bound high school seniors and the Roseanne Raymond Parks Institute for self development to serve Detroit's youth on October twenty fourth two thousand five at the age of ninety two Rosa Parks passed away in her apartment in Detroit Michigan she was laid to rest in the US capital and honor typically reserved for statesmen and military leaders in fact she was the first woman to ever receive such a distinction at her funeral over thirty thousand people passed by her coffin to pay respects and on December first two thousand five most major cities in the United States left seats empty on public public buses to commemorate roses incredible act of civil disobedience roses dedication to community and equality extended far beyond a refusal to give up her seat on a bus she was an advocate for black people and women everywhere and helped catapult the civil rights movement to the mainstream thanks to her courage. Rosa parks became a role model and icon and for women of Color as she explained I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up knowing what must be done does away with fear for more information on Rosa Parks amongst the many sources we used we found her autobiography. Rosa parks my story extremely helpful to our research. Well thanks for tuning into historical figures. We will be back in two two weeks with a new episode. You can find more episodes of historical figures as well as all of our casts other shows on spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts lasts several of you have asked how to help us if you enjoy the show. The best way to help is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on facebook and instagram. AM At podcast and twitter at car cast network. We'll see you next time. Historical figures was created by Max Cutler. It is a production action of Cutler media and is part of the park cast network. It is produced by Maxon Ron Cutler with sound design by Anthony Vowel sick production assistance by Ron Shapiro and I'm Paul Muller additional production assistance by Maggie admire and Freddie Beckley. This episode of historical figures was written by Michael Allen Herman and stars Ars Vanessa Richardson and Carter Roy as promised. Here's a clip of the first episode of sports criminals. It's about Olympic runner Oscar pistorius and the shooting death of his girlfriend Riva steenkamp to hear the full will I episode follows sports criminals for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts or visit podcast dot com slash sports criminals listen so now London two thousand twelve the thirtieth summer Olympic Games. The Sixty six thousand capacity stadium was full to the Brim for the men's four hundred meter semifinal eight of the thirty two fastest men in the world stood in front of the starting blocks. There was a smattering of applause for the Venezuelan in lane to the Brit and lane three received a predictably warm roar of appreciation from his home country. The Belgian lane four fed off the energy of the excited crowd hollered for him as well but it was the South African in lane in five who ignited the stadium into a frenzied uproar indeed millions of is around the world were fixated on the man in the fifth lane the starting gun fired and the runners took off South African maintained pace coming out of the first turn but was soon overtaken shaken by the Belgian when this was of little consequence all the South African needed to do to qualify for the finals was finished in the top three but within the runners came to the home stretch and the South African found himself in sixth place looking ahead at the determined runners including the man who would go on to win gold in the last fifty meters the South African fell back into seventh in the final twenty meters he was overtaken by the Venezuelan Venezuelan and crossed the finish line in dead last several strides behind the man in front of him but then the winner of the heat the future gold medallist turn to embrace the South African. He signaled that he wanted to trade the BIBS that had their names printed on them. A sign of the greatest respect between athletes the South African man then raised his hand and bowed to the crowd as though he had one the stadium cheered wildly for him at homes around the world family sat in their living rooms and shook their heads in disbelief amazing some mm said absolutely incredible they reacted as such because the South African was a man named Oscar pistorius the first double amputee to run in the Olympic Games to get here he not only had to qualify competing against the world's greatest but also navigate the trials of hellacious litigation to prove that his carbon fiber prosthetics did not give him an unfair advantage edge historians had become an international hero a poster boy for overcoming obstacles but what he would be remembered for was not his phenomenal unrivalled resume of athletic achievement. It was the result of a single night six months after the London Olympics when when Oscar pistorius fired four shots into his closed bathroom door killing his twenty nine year old girlfriend Riva Steam Steam Camp Welcome to sports criminals criminals podcast original every week we dive into the dark side of sports history and look at athletes who not only broke the law but broke the rules is an covenants of their sport will also uncover how their actions impacted the history of the sport they played and had a ripple of cultural and social implications nations. I'm Tim Johnson and I'm Carter. Roy Sports is built on a foundation of fairness with rules that aim to set up equal obstacles for two opposing housing sides so why is it that so many people within this strict moral code stray outside the law whether that means they simply break the rules of the game or commit a brutal act like murder. There are an untold number of athletes and others involved with the sports world that wind wind up in a life of debauchery sports criminals aims to unpack this connection we seek to uproot how fame and cutthroat nature of professional factional and amateur sports can exacerbate and feed some of our darkest desires you can find episodes of sports criminals and all other other park cast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream sports criminals for free on spotify just open the APP APP and type sports criminals in the search bar. The story of Oscar Pistorius is one of the most emotionally complex six in sports history in many ways he represented everything that draws us to athletics overcoming obstacles the triumph of spirit and determination an unparalleled work ethic and a commitment to persevere no matter the odds historian was not just an inspiration gracious to Paralympic athletes but to all athletes proving that even the greatest trials can be overcome the runner also carried with him a confident student in light charisma charming his way through interviews to become a media darling not just a hero of South Africa but hero of the world the attention he brought to Paralympic athletics flooded the community with sponsorships and spectators they had never had before his humble but confident outward persona and what appeared to be genuine and authentic Joie de vive made it absolutely shocking when the events INSA Valentine's Day two thousand thirteen came to pass in just a few short hours everything the world thought they knew about Oscar occur pistorious started on raveling at three. Am that morning historian shot and killed his girlfriend. Reva steenkamp through his closed bathroom door at his home in Pretoria South Africa historian claimed it was an accident prosecutors called it premeditated murder and cited an unknown unpredictable incredibly aggressive side to historians that he had hidden from the media for years ears in the story your about to hear we will try and present the tragic rise and fall of Oscar Pistorius from the most objective viewpoint point possible but what will come to light is the simple truth that it's impossible to know what happened on that fateful night whether pistorious aureus knowingly shot his girlfriend of three months or did so believing he was protecting her his actions that night were incredibly reckless less. Perhaps he was a cold killer and incredibly calculated liar or maybe he was so intensely traumatized by the idea of a break in that he was willing to act on violent impulse. One thing is for certain at the end of this tragic tale. It will be impossible not to form an opinion opinion one way or the other. Oscar Pistorius was born on November twenty second nineteen eighty six in Johannesburg South Africa without a fibula in either of his legs Oscar's mother. Sheila knew her son would need surgery to have the lower portion Russian of both his legs removed so when the baby was six months old she wrote her son a letter encouraging him in the trials he was sure to face in his life the piece that stock with Oscar when he read the letter as an adult stated the real loser is never the person who crosses the finish finish line last the real loser is the person who sits on the side the person who does not even try to compete Sheila's strove to ingrain this attitude within her young son. Even after the eleven month old pistorious had both his legs amputated six months later he was given his first prosthetics and from that moment forward Sheila stories made sure that above all else her son would not feel different different and for the most part he did not he pursued the world with an energetic thirst for adrenaline climbing and falling from trees launching shing himself onto motorbikes racing his brother's go-carts so fast down a hill that the pair had to use one of Oscar's prosthetics as a break. It was moments. Ullmann's like these when Oscar considered his differences the most as a child he did not feel pain as manufactured leg ground for Roche ously against against the Gravelly road. It's something else became apparent about Oscar's attitude the carried with him a sort of reckless of Banten contain an attitude of jump. I ask questions later. This type of daredevil persona is accepted in the sports world in fact act. It's encouraged but for Oskar would string together a series of unchecked behaviors that culminated in a tragic death however in childhood there was little to suggest his audacious physicality was anything out of the ordinary he took naturally to athletics and this seemed like a good environment to exert his energy but pistorius is childhood was not entirely defined by adrenaline and athletically fueled outings when he was six years old in nineteen ninety three his parents divorced. Sheila began excessively drinking as a way to subside the turmoil of singlehandedly ingle handedly raising three children when she moved her family to a smaller home in a poor neighborhood she also developed an acute fear of break ins and going so far as to sleep with a nine millimeter pistol underneath her pillow this planted planted and immense anxiety within Oskar that stuck with him into his adult years but it was not necessarily unjustified in the nineteen ninety s South Africa was on the tail end of the decades long horrors of apartheid the institution of racial segregation that had dominated cominated South African Society for nearly fifty years despite the political moves toward a more democratic country violence and civil unrest still title rampage through the nation it seemed at turns filled with random acts of violence and rife with the brutality of organized crime. Townships townships lobbied for anarchy. AK47 sold on the black market for fifteen. US dollars citizens were left as refugees when the fires wires in violence of territory wars push them from their homes the pistorius family even after the divorce was relatively affluent affluent compare to the incredibly impoverished and segregated black community of South Africa but the unrest of the country bled into all homes is rich and poor alike as the tides of reform force the nation to scramble for any sort of identity above all else. SUSHILA Pistorius was concerned for the safety and wellbeing of her children which is why she enrolled Oscar in the prestigious Pretoria boys high when she brought Oscar in to see Bill Schroeder the school's headmaster he is the boys prosthetics suspiciously. Schroeder politely addressed Sheila Sheila. She understood that this was an institution of the highest athletic standard did she not all enrolled were expected to Excel L. Sheila hardly blinked and ignored the man's concerned Gaze. Oh yes she assured him. Oscar was quite accomplished. In many many different sports this unfaltering determination and belief that Oscar was just another boy instilled in him and unwavering confidence ends that is missing legs would not get in the way of anything he did. Oscar's mother made sure that he never thought twice about fitting in and pursuing doing whatever it was he was passionate about which is why it hit especially hard when in March of two thousand two Oscar's father came to Pretoria boys high to break the news to a fifteen year old Oscar that his mother was fatally ill her excessive drinking had led to an incurable liver problem and during her treatment she suffered from an adverse drug interaction one that tragically took her life fat March at the age of forty three the news shattered Oscar but he was fortunately able to channel his energy into sports he especially he took to rugby and water polo with an incredible fervor aided by lighter more aerodynamic prosthetics. Oscar was able to compete within the ultra competitive landscape of the Pretoria Boys School that is until June twenty first two thousand three Oscar was playing rugby the on the outside wing when a pass came in high and fast Oscar leapt to catch the ball but as he did so two boys slammed into him in one high and one low he spiraled into the air and crashed to the ground sending a shock wave of pain through his leg. The drunken can fathers on the sidelines drank their beers and goaded. Get up you sissy. I didn't come out here to watch my kid play against a Panzi Oscar as he always did gritted his teeth and stood up. He finished the match and pedaled six kilometers back to his house house the next morning. When he woke up his knee was discolored an incredibly swollen Oscar new immediately that his athletic career was in in serious jeopardy. There are two things of note about this injury. I it is another example of of Oscar reckless willingness to throw himself head first into a situation even knowing his relative vulnerability second the injury put him on a crash course with the sport that would see him making history as fate would have it the physical therapists that Oskar consulted with for his injury suggested a very specific routine to regain functionality in his knee sprinting so so in two thousand and three Oskar began training with a track and field coach needless to say he took to the sport immediately a teacher teachers signed him up for a race which he won easily then he anchored the last one hundred meters for his schools for by one hundred relay and posted an almost mind boggling time of eleven point seven two seconds to take home the victory reveling in the immediacy of his son success. Hank pistorious started researching being the paralympics all the while Oskar continued to win race after race posting ludicrous times for a seventeen year old double amputee. QT Then may two thousand four came around and so two did some relatively shocking news Oscar Pistorius was chosen listen to represent South Africa in Athens for the Paralympic Games but his tenure in the two hundred meter race seemed destined to get off to a rocky start. Oscar had performed well enough that he was set to compete in the men's single leg amputee division Asian. He was the only double amputee in the entire. Field Oscar also had considerable difficulty starting racists mostly mostly because he lacked feet to feel the starting blocks and never quite perfected the proper push off. This issue came to light as he crouched down for the first round round of the men's two hundred meter. Oscar was in the Seventh Lane Elaine he would come to hate because he preferred to play catch up in the seventh seventh lane. Almost the entire field lined up behind you. Oscar and his coach had been working tirelessly on his starts focusing on making sure his weight hovered covered forward and over his body to launch himself out of the gates. This is what Oscar was thinking as he crouched on the track weight it forward launch out of the blocks strides gained forty centimeters on the lean. Oscar was so focused on his technique that he completely missed the sound of the starting gun for one point eight seconds he stayed crouched while the other runners runners took off when Oscar finally came to he scrambled upright and ran after the group by the end of the first turn he had moved into third place place in the home stretch overtook second and then I as though they were standing still he crossed the finish line at twenty three point four three seconds seconds finishing first in his heat and setting a new world record for the Paralympics then came the finals finals seventeen year old Oscar pistorius with a mouthful of braces. Only eight months removed from his first therapeutic sprints lined up up in lane five this time pistorious did not get off to a slow start from the outset. It was easy to see that the race was never in doubt many might believe sprinting to be an aggressive and uncoordinated sport a sort of British and unrestrained launched a run on as fast as you can. The reality is that sprinting takes a great deal of grace a unique balance of stability and rigid strides with bodily relaxation in fluid limbs sprinting has a unique aesthetic from athlete to athlete the long tall runner will allow allow the leverage of their limbs to carry the momentum of their strides while a shorter stockier person might look for quick thunderous steps in this way sprinting displays the functions of the body in an incredibly intimate in beautiful way to watch Oscar pistorius. Even in those early today's it was easy to see that he had a connection to his form that radiated a type of elegance powerful but effortless overturning inning of limbs at once more electric and more calm than every other runner in the field historian sundered passed the competition bursting across the finish line at Twenty one point nine seven seconds shattering the world record and securing the gold there was something radiant in the young athlete that day he hugged his competition and looked up at the crowd mouth opened in a joyful smile while those select few who watched the two thousand four Athens Paralympic Games new they had just witnessed the birth of a legend legend a once in a lifetime competitor.