I can replace Pistorius as the face of the Paralympic Movement, claims Peacock
Monday, 18 March 2013
March 18 - Britain's single leg amputee star Jonnie Peacock has claimed he can replace Oscar Pistorius as the face of the Paralympic Movement following the demise the South African, currently accused of murdering his girlfriend.
Pistorius was arrested and charged for allegedly murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Johannesburg on Valentine's Day.
Following a high profile court hearing in the South African capital, he was released on bail under strict conditions and is set to return to court on June 4 this year.
Peacock, a close friend of Pistorius, who he beat to win the 100 metre T44 final at London 2012, was mentioned as one of the athletes who could potentially replace the South African as the face of the Movement by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Sir Philip Craven and the 19-year-old from Cambridge said he would embrace the challenge.
"Obviously, I care so much about Paralympic sport and athletics so I'd do anything to help it," Peacock said.
"If it means becoming that kind of face then yes, it's just one of the things that goes along with the sport.
"I'm open to the idea."
The IPC President also outlined Brazilian sprinter Alan Oliveira, who beat Pistorius to gold in men's 200m T44 final at London 2012, as another who can become the face of the Paralympic Movement and Peacock feels it is a role that could be shared.
"There are also lots of other great athletes out there," he said.
"I'd be willing to help if that's what's required and I'm sure all the athletes would.
"We need to get it out there.
"We've got big names and the sport will move on.
"It's just about making sure that they [the IPC] choose the next person quickly and start using them well."
"It's so important that you have icons of the sport.
"People tuned in to the Olympics to see Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah.
"People watch Barcelona to see Lionel Messi play.
"It's really important that you have a person you know and have a connection with and follow their journey.
"It's really important that they [the IPC] get pushed to put more personalities out there.
"Maybe they're not going to use one; perhaps they'll use five different people in different countries."
March 2013: Paralympic Movement will suffer from loss of Pistorius, admits biggest rival
February 2013: Paralympic Movement in disbelief at Pistorius murder trial but it won't stop us claims IPC President