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AR Prosthetist Knows Oscar Pistorius Well

A long-time friend and the man who designed the blades Pistorius wore recently moved to Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee who rose to international fame while competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
   
A long-time friend and the man who designed the blades Pistorius wore recently moved to Arkansas.

Francois Van der Watt says watching from Arkansas as his close friend stands trial for murder has been very difficult.

Part of Van der Watt's work is with amputees seeking to push the limits of what's possible on prosthetic legs.
   
That's how he met Pistorius 14 years ago.  They became close as they worked to perfect the legs that gave him the name "blade runner."  It was Van der Watts design that Pistorius wore during his Olympic run. 
   
Pistorius' world came crashing down six months later when authorities in South Africa say he murdered his model girlfriend, shooting her through the door of a bathroom that Van Der Watt says he used in 2010 during a stay at Pistorius' house.

"Besides being very competitive and quick to react, I've never seen the violent behavior or tendencies," explained Van der Watt on Tuesday.

Van der Watt says he was in shock and disbelief upon hearing what was being accused of his long-time friend. 

Throughout the trial, which started in March, Pistorius has said he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.

Van der Watt says he does not believe Pistorius killed his girlfriend on purpose.
   
Now working for Horton's Orthotics & Prosthetics in Arkansas, Van der Watt said he and Pistorius stay in communication through email even as his trial carries on.
 
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