Oscar Pistorius has been handed a five year prison sentence for shooting his girlfriend dead, sealing the former icon’s dramatic fall from grace.
Only two years ago, Pistorius was basking in the glory of his success at the London 2012 games.
In addition to his haul of three medals – two gold and one silver – he had become the first double amputee to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
The historic achievement cemented his place as a trailblazer and celebrated ambassador for disability sport.
Accolades had streamed in as fast as the running records Pistorius broke. He appeared on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people in 2008 and 2012, was named Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability and handed an honorary doctorate by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
The story of the little boy who had both legs amputated below the knee as a baby and turned his disability into a strength captivated the world.
In South Africa, he became a national icon and when he started dating Reeva Steenkamp, a model and growing celebrity on the verge of her reality television debut, his status was elevated further.
But that all changed on Valentine’s Day 2013, when he shot her dead in his bathroom.
Pistorius was arrested by police that night and charged with murder the next day as grisly details of Ms Steenkamp’s death emerged in the South African media.
Hours later, billboards displaying his face were ripped down as advertisers rapidly withdrew endorsement deals and former friends moved to distance themselves from the athlete as quickly as possible.
If the South African media had been accused before of overlooking Pistorius’ faults, the tide was turned as ex-girlfriends and critics took to the airwaves and past incidents were examined in minute detail.
There was his tantrum at the London Paralympics 200m race, when he accused a Brazilian athlete of beating him into second place with illegal blades. No rules had been violated.
Past reports of a gun by his bedside and the rifle by a window seen by journalists surfaced and there was the tweet describing how he walked into his house, thought there was a burglar and went into “recon mode”.
Evidence presented during his trial revealed the extent of his fascination with guns, including footage from a firing range showing him excitedly exploding watermelons with a “zombie stopper”.
Oscar Pistorius: Career in pictures
Oscar Pistorius: Career in pictures
1/34 Oscar Pistorius in Greece
Oscar Pistorius wins the 200m T44 for Men during the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, 2004
2/34 Oscar Pistorius in Greece
Oscar Pistorius at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, 2004
3/34 Oscar Pistorius in Manchester
Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning his second gold medal during the VISA Paralympic World Cup Athletics at the Sport City Stadium in Manchester, 2006
4/34 Oscar Pistorius in Manchester
Oscar Pistorius shows his gold medal after winning the T44 200 m for men at the Visa Paralympic world cup at the Manchester Regional Arena, 2007
5/34 Oscar Pistorius competes in race
Oscar Pistorius competing in the men's 400m race B, 2007
6/34 Oscar Pistorius in Rome
Oscar Pistorius settles in the blocks before winning the Mens 400m 'B' race during the IAAF Golden Gala at The Olympic Stadium in Rome, 2007
7/34 Oscar Pistorius in Rome
Oscar Pistorius poses during the broadcast 'Piazza grande' on Italian TV state channel 'Rai 1' in Rome, 2008
8/34 Oscar Pistorius in St.Petersburg
(L to R) Bryan Habana, Cuba Gooding Jr and Oscar Pistorius during the Laureus welcome reception at Gimnazya in St.Petersburg, 2008
9/34 Oscar Pistorius arrives at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne
Oscar Pistorius arrives at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne to appeal his case on the second day of his hearing as he was told by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that he could not compete in their events because the artificial legs he uses gives him an unfair advantage, 2008
10/34 Oscar Pistorius runs during a training session
Oscar Pistorius runs during a training session on the track of Emmeloord, 2008
11/34 Oscar Pistorius in Germany
Oscar Pistorius compete during the 400 meter race at the German disabled athletics championships in Berlin, 2008
12/34 Oscar Pistorius in Italy
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa relaxes prior to the 400m race in his quest to make the Olympic qualifying time of 45.55 during the Notturna di Milano International Athletics Meeting at the Arena Gianni Brera in Milan, 2008
13/34 Oscar Pistorius in China
Oscar Pistorius speaks at a press conference for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games in Beijing, 2008
14/34 Oscar Pistorius in China
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Men's 100m T44 Final Athletics event at the National Stadium during day three of the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, 2008
15/34 Oscar Pistorius in China
Oscar Pistorious (L) leads Heros Marai (C) of Italy and Christoph Bausch (R) of Switzerland in the heats of the men's 100 metre T44 classification race at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games in Beijing, 2008
16/34 Oscar Pistorius and Nelson Mandela in South Africa
Oscar Pistorius and former South African President, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, 2009
17/34 Oscar Pistorius in Norway
Oscar Pistorius looks on prior to the 400m B-final during the IAAF Golden League Bislett Games in Oslo, 2009
18/34 Oscar Pistorius in London
Oscar Pistorius reacts after winning the men's 400 metres T44 final race with a new world record time of 47.04 sec during the Diamond League athletics meeting at Crystal Palace in London, 2010
19/34 Oscar Pistorius in New Zealand
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa celebrates receiving his gold medal after winning the Men's 200m T44 final during day three of the IPC Athletics Championships at QE II Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, 2011
20/34 Oscar Pistorius in New Zealand
(L-R) Arnu Fourie, Henry Roos, Oscar Pistorius and Mike Samkelo Radebe of South Africa celebrate after winning the Men's 4x100m Relay T42-46 final during day eight of the IPC Athletics Championships at QE II Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, 2011
21/34 Oscar Pistorius in New Zealand
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa poses with his medals during day eight of the IPC Athletics Championships at QE II Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, 2011
22/34 Oscar Pistorius in South Africa
Oscar Pistorius in action during the 400m during day 5 of The Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled from Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg, 2011
23/34 Oscar Pistorius in Czech Republic
Oscar Pistorius warms up before the men's 400m event at the Zlata Tretra (Golden Spike) athletics meeting in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, 2011
24/34 Oscar Pistorius in New York
Oscar Pistorius attends the Eva Mendes launch of her new campaign for Angel by Thierry Mugler at IAC Building in New York, 2011
25/34 Oscar Pistorius in South Korea
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa speaks with Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson of the United States during a media gathering at the Novatel Hotel prior to the 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships Daegu 2011 in Daegu, South Korea, 2011
26/34 Oscar Pistorius in South Korea
Oscar Pistorius prepares to settle into the blocks to compete in the men's 400 metres heats at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, 2011
27/34 Oscar Pistorius in London
South African sprint runner known as 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius (C) poses for photographers with Paralympians ahead of the international Paralympic Day in central London, 2011
28/34 Oscar Pistorius in London
Oscar Pistorius poses in the press room with his Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability trophy at the 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, 2012
29/34 Oscar Pistorius in London
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa competes in the Men's 400m Round 1 heat on Day 8 of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, 2012
30/34 Oscar Pistorius receives his honorary doctorate
Oscar Pistorius holds his scroll after receiving his honorary doctorate from Strathclyde University in the Barony Hall in Glasgow, 2012
31/34 Oscar Pistorius with his girlfriend
Oscar Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, 2013
32/34 Oscar Pistorius in court
Oscar Pistorius hides his face in his hands in the court room during his hearing on charge of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria, 2013
33/34 Oscar Pistorius in court
Oscar Pistorius stands in the Magistrate Court in Pretoria after appearing for the first time since being freed on bail over the Valentine's Day killing of his model girlfriend, 2013
34/34 Oscar Pistorius in court
Oscar Pistorius appeared on charges of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 2013
He was given three-year prison sentence, suspended for five years, for firing a gun in a crowded Johannesburg restaurant in 2013 as he passed in under the table.
Gradually, the image of a heroic and congenial sportsman who had battled against adversity to blaze a trail for disabled athletes around the world, was replaced with that of a gun-toting playboy with a huge ego and temper to match.
If his legal team are correct, Pistorius could be out of prison in just 10 months but the world is unlikely to forgive or forget his crime.Reuse content