PRETORIA, South Africa - Oscar Pistorius is a "paradox" whose past triumphs as a sprinter crossing the finish line with raised arms contrasted sharply with the daily, severe limitations that he endured because of his disability, a physician testified Thursday. Wayne Derman, a professor of sport and exercise medicine at the University of Cape Town, said that the contrast likely contributed to stress and anxiety for the Olympic sprinter, who fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a closed toilet door in his home. He testified for the defense, which wants to show that the athlete had a deep sense of vulnerability and it was a factor in what he has described as a mistaken shooting.
"You've got a paradox of an individual who is supremely able, and you've got an individual who is significantly disabled," said Derman, who has worked with South African Olympic and Paralympic teams and has treated Pistorius over half a dozen years. "He has a specific fear of being trapped somewhere without being able to move very rapidly." Pistorius, 27, says he killed Steenkamp on Feb. 14 last year by mistake, thinking there was a dangerous intruder in his home. The prosecution says he intentionally killed the 29-year-old model. The trial continues.
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