That’s how TV host Oprah Winfrey has described disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong after she sat down with him this week.
It was the 41-year-old’s first interview since he was served a lifetime ban from professional cycling and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles amid overwhelming evidence that he used performance enhancing drugs.
After years and years of staunch denial, Lance Armstong told Oprah – and the rest of the world – he cheated.
The interview aired today on Oprah’s O Network and live on the internet. Oprah started with a series of yes or no questions. Armstrong looked relaxed.
“Did you eve take banned substances to enhance your performance?” Oprah asked.
41-year-old Armstrong admitted to using drugs during every one of his Tour de France wins. Without them, Armstrong said, he didn’t think it would have been physically possible to win. “The story is so bad and so toxic and all of it’s true.”
“I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times. Certainly I’m a flawed character … This story was so perfect for so long. All the blame here falls on me. But behind that picture is momentum…. and I lost myself in all that.
“I know the truth. The truth isn’t what was out there, the truth isn’t what I said … This story was so perfect for so long … you overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children. I mean, it’s just this mythic, perfect story.”
“I made my decisions, I made my mistakes and I am sitting her to acknowledge that. To say sorry for that”
So why did he do it?
“It was truly win at all costs … I took that win at all costs attitude and took it into cycling.”
Armstrong said that the last time he took banned substances was in 2005 and denied allegations that he was doping during his comeback.
This is a picture from The Manly Library that’s been going viral since the weekend:
This the first part of the interview:
Earlier this week, Oprah appeared on US television channel CBS to talk about her exclusive interview. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Do you think that it was difficult for him to finally come clean to you?
Oprah: Yes, I think the entire interview was difficult. And may I just say that we had agreed before this moment, before the interview, we had agreed that the terms of the interview and what was included in the interview—specifically what was included in the interview—would be left for people to make their own judgments about, and that I would not be discussing, and that he would not be discussing or confirming. We agreed to that, and by the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it. So I’m like, “How did you all do that?” We all agreed we weren’t going to say anything. So I’m sitting here now because it’s already been confirmed. So here we are.
Q: How did you get this interview?
Oprah:I had sent him an email a couple of months ago just hoping that he would talk to me. He emailed back and said he wasn’t ready to talk, but he would be in Hawaii over the holidays, and he knew that I had a place in Hawaii. “Okay, right, that’s going to happen,” I thought. “Sure, we’re going to get together for lunch.” During the holidays, I emailed and said, “What about that lunch?” As it turns out, he said “I can’t do” it on the days I was available because he had his kids. I had a bunch of my kids—girls from my school in Africa—with me. I stayed over an extra two days in order to accommodate his schedule, and he came to visit me in Maui. He lives on another island so he flew over. I went through my stealth operation…
Were you surprised by Armstrong’s decision to be interviewed? Do you believe him?