Will there be a new breakout Paralympic star at Paris 2024 since Oscar Pistorius? GETTY IMAGES

As anticipation builds for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the spotlight shining on elite athletes and a question is being raised: Will this prestigious event reveal the next Paralympic sensation?

With the world's attention on Paris, the Games present a platform for athletes with disabilities to showcase their exceptional talents and inspire a global audience, igniting hope for the emergence of a new Paralympic star.

Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner," captivated the world with his remarkable achievements, demonstrating the immense potential within the world of para-sports. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Oscar Pistorius achieved a historic milestone by clinching gold medals in the men's 400 meters and 4x100 meters relay events

His victories not only showcased his extraordinary speed and athleticism but also shattered barriers, as he became the first double amputee sprinter to win gold at the Paralympic Games. Following his remarkable success, Pistorius' life took a dark turn. In 2013, he was arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Since the rise and subsequent fall of Pistorius, the world of para-sports has been awaiting the emergence of a new breakout star on the same scale. Despite the continued success of many talented para-athletes, no individual has yet captured the global attention and admiration in quite the same way as Pistorius did. The question is, will a new star be born following the conclusion of the Paris 2024 Games?

Are we set to witness a new breakout Paralympian at Paris 2024 since Pistorius? GETTY IMAGES
Are we set to witness a new breakout Paralympian at Paris 2024 since Pistorius? GETTY IMAGES

Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), is confident that Paris 2024 is poised to host the most magnificent Paralympic Games to date.

“As we reach the one year to go milestone, all the stars are aligning for Paris 2024 to deliver tremendous and memorable Paralympic Games, setting a benchmark for all future editions," Parsons said last year. “The Organising Committee has promised innovative and revolutionary Paralympics, Games wide open to all. To date, they are delivering on all their promises and with 12 months to go I could not be more excited for the Games and the legacy they will deliver.

“Having attended many Para sport events this year, the level of sport performance is quite simply incredible. With the environment Paris 2024 is creating for athletes next summer, which includes many stunning sport venues at the heart of the city, I think the sporting action will surpass all of our expectations. 

"These will be the first Paralympics in Europe since London 2012 and the first to be he held with spectators since Rio 2016. This combination, together with accessible and affordable tickets, will ensure we have massive crowds packing the venues, bringing the best out of our athletes. I think the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games are going to be spectacular.”

Who are the potentials to watch out for at the Paralympics in Paris?

New Zealand's versatile athlete Cameron Leslie showcased impressive performance, rebounding from withdrawing from swimming and wheelchair rugby events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games due to personal reasons. Demonstrating resilience, Leslie excelled at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships, securing a gold medal along with three silver medals. Later in the year, he assumed the role of co-captain for the New Zealand team, leading them to the quarter-finals of the Wheelchair Rugby World Championship.

In her inaugural marathon season, Switzerland's Catherine Debrunner made a significant impact, claiming victory in several prestigious wheelchair races and setting multiple world records on the track. Her debut marathon triumph came at the Berlin Marathon in September 2022, followed by another impressive win at the London Marathon just seven days later, where she crossed the finish line with a new course record. Despite being known as a track specialist, Debrunner showcased her versatility by setting four world records at the Nottwil Grand Prix two-years ago.

Debrunner could be the one to watch at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES
Debrunner could be the one to watch at Paris 2024. GETTY IMAGES

US Para ice hockey player Declan Farmer is another to keep a close eye on. At the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games, the seasoned player played a pivotal role in leading his team to its fourth consecutive gold medal. In his third appearance at the Games, Farmer emerged as a standout performer, tallying a tournament-leading 18 points. Notably, he contributed three crucial points in the final against Canada, securing victory for his team.

Norwegian Para alpine skier Jesper Saltvik Pedersen enjoyed a stellar season in 2022, etching his name into the record books. At the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games, Pedersen clinched an impressive four gold medals and one silver, establishing himself as the most successful multi-medallist of the Games across all sports and genders. Notably, he stood out as the sole Para athlete in Beijing to secure four gold medals.

Skiing sensation Pedersen is ready to star at the upcoming Games. GETTY IMAGES
Skiing sensation Pedersen is ready to star at the upcoming Games. GETTY IMAGES

Dutch tennis sensation Diede de Groot asserted her dominance in wheelchair tennis throughout the 2022 campaign. Making history, she became the first player ever to achieve consecutive calendar Grand Slams in the same year. With an impressive record of 38 consecutive singles wins and a winning streak extending to 74 matches since the 2021 Australian Open, de Groot solidified her status as a force to be reckoned with in the sport.

US Para Nordic skier and cyclist Oksana Masters made history back in 2022, emerging as the most decorated US winter Paralympian of all time. At the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, Masters showcased her exceptional skill and determination by medaling in all seven of her events, becoming the first American Para athlete to earn seven medals at a single Paralympic Games. Additionally, she excelled at the World Para Snow Sports Championships and Para Cycling Road World Championships, securing a total of eight medals, including four gold.