As the world went to sleep on 13 February 2013, they mostly had one image of Oscar Pistorius: an against-the-odds inspiration and, occasional moments of bad sportsmanship aside, a top athlete.
The previous summer, the "Blade Runner" bagged three medals - two of them gold - at the London 2012 Paralympics, taking his tally up to nine. The same summer, he became the first Paralympian to compete in the Olympics.
And though he didn't trouble the podium in the able-bodied Games, his achievement in lobbying to compete, and qualifying, was recognised by the eventual gold medallist in the men's 400m, Kirani James, who swapped name tags with him after their race.
Afterwards, James said: "Oscar is someone special, especially in our event. It's a memorable moment for me to be out here performing with him.
"He's an inspiration to all of us. He is very special to our sport. He's a down to earth guy and a great individual.
"I am going to keep it."
He was held up as a South African icon and Paralympic hero.
But exactly a year ago, on the Valentine's Day morning, that image was erased and replaced. At his luxury villa in a Pretoria gated community, he had shot his compatriot girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp, four times through a locked bathroom door, killing her.
He was arrested and charged with premeditated murder, a charge carrying a minimum of 25 years in prison before parole. He denied the allegation, claiming he shot her in error, mistaking her for an intruder - a defence he maintains.
After the athlete's initial tearful court appearance, his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, said the pair "had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time."
And the night before, Ms Steenkamp had tweeted:
But Pistorius still hasn't faced the charges in court. That will happen on 2 March, more than a year after the killing, during which time Pistorius has been on bail.
Some UK observers were shocked that a man who admitted killing someone (albeit claiming it was by accident) was released on bail and allowed to leave the country. There was some suggestion of a legal system going easy on a suspect because he was a famous athlete.
Initial bail conditions - which Pistorius' lawyer claimed amounted to "house arrest" - were overturned in March, because Judge Bert Bam said conditions should not contain any kind of “anticipatory punishment."
They had included a ban on alcohol, regular visits from a probation officer and travel restrictions. But until the trial starts, Pistorius has only had to to inform the state a week before he plans to travel beyond South Africa’s borders, provide a full intinerary, and return his passport to a court within 24 hours of returning home.
But the bail laws in South Africa are one among many legacies of the Apartheid era.
As Dr Kelly Phelps, a senior lecturer in law at the University of Cape Town, explained: “During Apartheid, detention without trial was ruthlessly exploited by the oppressive state to suppress political dissent. The law was a weapon in the Apartheid government’s arsenal, used to maintain minority domination and entrench its racist ideology.
“The value of the presumption of innocence and individual liberty therefore cannot be overstated in South Africa. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of bail laws, even if at times this upsets a public that seems to forget the risks associated with unnecessary detention before trial and the high cost of it to society at large.”
And Dr Phelps added that, under South African law, Pistorius had done enough to meet the conditions for bail.
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
“Specifically,” she said, “Pistorius was not a flight risk – he has strong family ties in South Africa, he is incredibly easily identifiable globally, his prostheses require regular and consistent medical attention and the vast majority of his assets rest within South Africa.
“It was also held that he did not pose a danger of violence to the community – though the prosecution had alleged a track record of violence the magistrate criticised them for not providing any evidence of this beyond vague and flimsy allegations. Furthermore, the magistrate did not find that the state’s case against Pistorius was so strong that it might induce him to abscond – he had cooperated with the authorities since the killing and there was no reason to believe he would not appear for the trial.”
In rare public comments in November, however, The City Press quoted him as saying he was "anxious" about the trial, and was spending a lot of time with family.
"I feel calm," he said. "I now spend most of my time with my family and I enjoy their company.
"They are wonderful and their support is incredible. But, I must say, at the same time I am also anxious about the upcoming court case."
The Steenkamps' lawyer released a statement earlier this week. It read: "June (Reeva's mother) and other family members will be at the trial in Pretoria.
"All we are looking for is closure and to know that our daughter did not suffer on that tragic Valentine's Day."
And today, in another unusual public display, Pistorius released his own statement. This time, penning "a few words" from his heart, tweeted via his official account with a link to a piece on his website.
"No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved - and continues to love Reeva," he wrote.
"The pain and sadness – especially for Reeva’s parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow.
"The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life."
A South African TV station has already set up a dedicated channel for the 27-year-old's trial at Pretoria's High Court. By the end of 2013, Pistorius was revealed as the third most searched-for person on Google, beating the late former South African President Nelson Mandela into fourth place.
He also faces two more gun charges. Among the witnesses who will be called are Pistorius’s sister Aimee and his uncle Arnold.
Medical experts, a weather forecaster, paramedics, and ballistic and forensic experts will also testify during its anticipated two to three weeks duration, during which Pistorius will learn his fate. For South Africa, disabled sport, and the wider world, the verdict could be huge.