Olympic runner inspires Minnesota kid

4:57 AM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Sportscasters called it "a landmark moment in the Olympics." It was the moment South African runner and double amputee, Oscar Pistorius, took the track in London.

People around the world watched in awe as "Blade Runner" sprinted his way into the men's 400 meter semifinals. Perhaps no one was more interested than an 8-year-old boy in Coon Rapids.

"I think it makes me want to run around and be in the Olympics and be kind of like him," says Eli Guthrie.

Eli has the same congenital birth defect as Pistorius. He too, had both his legs amputated below the knee as an infant. And, just like the Olympian, Eli doesn't let it stop him.

"He's always been able to do what he's wanted to do. He can adapt," says mom Jodi Evans.

Jodi says she thinks it's because of Eli's great attitude and Shriners Hospitals for Children in Minneapolis. The folks at Shriners make hundreds of prosthetics every year for children in seven states and just like the world around us, technology is having an impact on what they do.

"We're getting a lot more technology like microprocessors and computers being able to control some of the moves that we do that allow us to have a better daily life," says Matt Morel, a certified Prosthetist at Shriners.

At age 8, Eli doesn't much get into the reasons why his legs work, he just knows that because they do, and because of a runner named Oscar Pistorius, he can do anything he sets his mind to.

"Anybody can do it if he can do it," says Eli.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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