Oscar Pistorius granted parole: Who is the South African Olympic, Paralympic runner

Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee runner who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, will be released on parole, authorities said on Friday. Pistorius will be released from prison on Jan. 5, but his status moving forward will be monitored by officials until his sentence is complete.

The 37-year-old Pistorius has been in jail since 2014 after being sentenced for shooting model Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison, more than doubling his original sentence, and was denied parole in March.

His new sentence officially expires on Dec. 5, 2029. To be considered for parole in South Africa, offenders must serve half of their sentence.

Who is Oscar Pistorius?

Pistorius was born on November 22, 1986, in South Africa. He was born without the fibula in his legs and other defects in his feet. At 11 months old, he had his legs amputated below the knee.

He won six gold medals at the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Paralympic Games, competing in the T44 events, which are for single below-knee amputees. His gold medals came in the 100, 200, and 400 meters, adding another gold in the 4×100-meter relay.

Pistorius was nicknamed the “Blade Runner, as he ran on specially designed carbon-fiber blades and was the first double amputee sprinter to ever race in the Olympics. Pistorius made it to the semifinals of the 400 meters at the 2012 London Olympics, finishing last. He also ran on South Africa's 4 x 400-meter relay team at the Olympics.

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius waits on October 16, 2014 before his sentencing hearing.
South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius waits on October 16, 2014 before his sentencing hearing.

Who was his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and what were the circumstances of her death?

Steenkamp was a model and reality television star when she met Pistorius in 2012.

On February 14, 2013, she was visiting Pistorius at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

During his trial, Pistorius testified that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder who was hiding out in his bathroom late at night and fired his weapon by mistake. Pistorius shot her four times, killing the 29-year-old.

Prosecutors said that Pistorius killed her after an argument and that Steenkamp hid out in a toilet cubicle, and he killed her after being in a rage.

Pistorius was convicted under a South African law called "dolus eventualis," meaning he should have known who was behind that bathroom door and committed the act with extreme recklessness. In the United States, it is comparable to third-degree murder.

“I do not believe Oscar’s version that he thought the person in the toilet was a burglar. I do not know anybody who does. My dearest child screamed for her life, loud enough for the neighbours to hear her,”  Steenkamp's mother June, wrote in a victim impact statement.

“I do not know what gave rise to his choice to shoot through a closed door four times with hollow-point ammunition when, I believe, he knew it was Reeva.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Oscar Pistorius granted parole after sentenced for killing girlfriend