The murder charges against Olympic blade runner Oscar Pistorius are creating a social media storm. Both Pistorius and the victim, Reeva Steenkamp, known as a Ken and Barbie couple, gained thousands of Twitter followers in the first few hours after the news broke.
A national hero in South Africa, Pistorius ran in 11 races during the 2012 games and the Paralympics. He returned home with two Paralympic gold medals, Paralympic silver, two world records, a Paralympic record, an Olympic individual semi-final and an Olympic final. He was also named one of the “sexiest men alive” by People Magazine.
Reeva Steenkamp and Pistorius were first seen publicly together in November at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg. Later, she began mentioning the athlete in public messages on Twitter.
Steenkamp was a law school graduate and an entrepreneur who worked to empower women. She was to give an inspirational talk Thursday at a Johannesburg School. She was also a successful model and had been one of FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World two years running.
On Twitter, she tweeted messages urging women to stand up against rape. Some of her last Twitter postings indicated she was looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day on Thursday. “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???” she tweeted. “It should be a day of love for everyone.”
The live tweets from around the world include popular topics like “gun control”, “domestic violence” and his Nike sponsorship ad with the words:
“I am the bullet in the chamber”.
A few key topics are associated with his name in online posts and are featured in Sport, News, Opinion and Gossip columns around the web:
Newspapers and online news sources featured online updates with most of the attention on the Nike ad: