Banned cyclist Lance Armstrong talks to Oprah Winfrey about performance… (George Burns / AFP / Getty…)
As the interview with Lance Armstrong progressed Friday night, Oprah Winfrey went back and forth between emotional questions and digging into the fraud Lance Armstrong perpetrated on the sporting public and the costs associated with it.
“I’ve lost all future income,” Armstrong said matter of factly. “You could look at the day or two days when (sponsors) left. I don’t like thinking about it, but that was a $75 million day.”
Armstrong did show some more emotion when talking about his mother.
“She’s a wreck,” he said. “… (But) she’s a tough lady and gotten through every other tough moment in her life.”
But it was only after a conversation on facetime that reality hit.
“It took seeing her to really understand it’s taking a toll on her life.”
Armstrong showed a brief bit of self doubt when asked if he will rise again.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know what’s out there. I do not know the outcome. I’m getting comfortable with that.”
Winfrey asked Armstrong if he was a better human being for all his actions. Again he answered with little emotion.
“Without a doubt,” Armstrong said. “And again this happened twice in my life. When I was diagnosed I was a better human being after that and a smarter human being. But I lost my way. … But I can’t lose my way again. Only I can control that and I’m in no position to make promises. That is the biggest challenge the rest of my life.”
Armstrong, expressing that he is now in a different place emotionally than he had been virtually all of his competitive life, talked about viewing tapes of his defiant behavior over the years with his children.
“If I had one of my kids act like that,” he said. “I’d be apoplectic.”
Winfrey closed the hour-long second part by asking what the moral to story would be. Armstrong had no answer, so Winfrey offered one up for him, by quoting his first wife, Kristin.
“The truth will set you free,” Winfrey said.
Posted 6:50 p.m. PST
After telling Oprah Winfrey in the second part of their interview Friday night that be believes he was punished too harshly for his use of performance-enhancing drugs and that he believes he “deserves” to be able to compete again, Lance Armstrong finally began to show some emotion when talking about speaking with his son and admitting his drug use.
Asked how recent developments affected his 13-year-old son, Luke, Armstrong said, “When this all really started, I saw my son defending me, saying, ‘What you’re saying about my dad is not true,’ and it almost goes to the question of ‘Why now?’…" That, Armstrong said, was when he needed to tell his children.
Armstrong started to tear up while describing his feelings about his son, and other children. “That’s when I knew I had to tell him. He’d never asked me. ... He trusted me.”
Armstrong said he had a talk with Luke over the holidays. “I said, ‘Listen, there’s been a lot of questions about your dad.’ I said, 'I want you to know that it’s true.' And there were the girls and Luke, and they didn’t say much. ... They just accepted it.
“I told Luke, I said ..." Armstrong paused and tried to compose himself: ‘Don’t defend me anymore.’"
Armstrong said his son “has been remarkably calm and mature about this. ... Thank god he’s more like Kristin [Armstrong’s former wife] than he is like me.”
Asked what his intention was or hope he had coming out of his long-awaited admission, he said, “The well-being of my children.”
Posted 6:25 p.m. PST
Sequels are rarely as good as the originals so Friday’s broadcast of the Lance Armstrong self-cleansing was not as highly anticipated as Part 1 on Thursday.
If Armstrong was trying to sway America back to loving the man behind the yellow plastic bracelets he didn’t do it on Thursday,whe he came off as too stiff and not showing enough emotion or repentance. Since the interview was conducted in a 2 1/2-hour span Monday, he was not afforded the chance to regroup and fix his demeanor for Friday’s broadcast.
Oprah Winfrey, who seemed well-prepared and in control of the interview on Thursday, opened the second show questioning how Armstrong felt when most of his sponsors -- Nike, Anheiser Busch, Oakley -- started to leave him.
“It was a Wednesday,” Armstrong said. “Nike called. … They said they were out. … But the one person I didn’t think would leave would be the foundation.”
Armstrong was referring to Livestrong, the cancer charity he made famous.
“That was the most humbling moment,” he said. “That was the lowest.”