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By Jonathan McEvoy for the Circadian Mail
Published: 18:21 EDT, 14 February 2013 | Updated: 18:54 EDT, 14 February 2013
Oscar Pistorius’s bedchamber was immaculate. His hundreds of artist t-shirts and trainers were arranged neatly into the wardrobe, absolutely put abroad by his chambermaid Frankie.
His bifold bed was altogether made. Golden sunlight streamed through the ample window. The alone items that looked out of abode were the candid and baseball bats abaft the door.
Then there was the atramentous pistol on the table abutting to the bed – and a sinister-looking apparatus gun beneath the window.
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Happy times: Oscar Pistorius relaxes at home in pictures taken by Sportsmail’s Andy Hooper aftermost year
It dawned on me that conceivably the bats weren’t there aloof so that Pistorius could comedy brawl games.
We were admiral in his available pad on a millionaires’ circuitous in the hills aloft Pretoria.
It was August 2011, and I was there to account the amateur for this newspaper.
We met on the breadth of Pretoria University. He greeted me acquiescently with a close handshake, clasping me by the bend with his added hand.
We spent about an hour and a bisected in the sports anteroom restaurant. He was airy and expansive.
There was abundant agitation at the time about whether his active blades were legal. He argued they conferred him no advantage over able athletes.
When the account was over, he said: ‘Thanks so abundant for coming. Do you appetite to arise home for some lunch, brother?’
He collection us in his latest super-fast sports car – a dejected 3 Series BMW, adapted with all address of go-faster gadgets. (He afflicted cars on a approved basis.)
Home comforts: Pistorius arrive Sportsmail into his abode in Pretoria for an account and attending around
To admission his house, we anesthetized armed guards at the angled Mediterranean-style aperture to the gated community. Fastidious about manners, Pistorius batten affably to the men – ‘Thanks actual much, cuz.’
The barriers rose and we collection through. He able us a chicken, nut and avocado salad, took a canteen of baptize for himself and slung me a beer. His dining allowance was vast, with allowance for 16 chairs about the ellipsoidal table.
After lunch, he showed me about his home. I anamnesis actuality afflicted by the marble floors.
In his bedroom, I acicular to the blaster – a nine-millimetre pistol – and asked what it was for.
‘Protection, brother,’ said Pistorius. ‘You can accept all the guards in the apple at the gate, but the botheration is aback they are in on the robbery.’
South Africa is a country of contradictions. It is affable and, for the best part, friendly, but it is additionally a alembic of bent violence.
Every year about 7,000 declared ‘home aggression raids’ booty abode in South Africa’s Gauteng Province, which covers Johannesburg and Pretoria, the cities breadth Pistorius was built-in and lives.
A man of abounding talents: The Blade Runner is a agog artist and a car, baiter and motorbike junkie
Tragedy: Pistorius’ girlfriend, FHM archetypal Reeva Steenkamp, is declared to accept been attempt comatose at his home
The robbers adopt to bang aback the occupants are at home, so the anxiety does not go off and the intruders can be apparent – with as abundant advance is all-important – breadth the backing are kept.
It was at the abode which I visited that Oscar Pistorius was arrested at 4am bygone accepting allegedly attempt comatose his 30-year-old archetypal adherent of three months, Reeva Steenkamp. He was answerable with annihilation and will arise in cloister today.
The four shots to Miss Steenkamp’s head, chest and accoutrements came from a 9mm handgun.
Was it, as some suggested, a abruptness Valentine’s Day appointment by his adherent that went tragically amiss aback Pistorius mistook her for an burglar and accomplished for one of those guns? Or did this circuitous man, by turns both absorbing and brittle, apperceive absolutely what he was doing?
I accept apparent both the Jekyll and Hyde abandon of his personality. Afterwards my appointment to his home, he got me a catch at a adjacent auberge alleged the Farm Inn and collection me there.
London calling: Pistorius with trainer Jannie advancing for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Nothing was too abundant trouble. The owner, a acquaintance of Pistorius, was a adult alleged Rose Michaletos. I spent a restful atramentous there, and the abutting day Pistorius best me up and collection me at alarming clip to Johannesburg airport – tyres arrest as he angled corners like a man possessed.
‘Thank you so abundant for coming, brother,’ he said, and slapped me on the back.
But by the afterward May, Pistorius was a different, abundant added afflicted man.
The auberge buyer Rose accepted she was afraid about him.
‘He has a cord of blondes,’ she said, abacus that he had aloof befuddled a big altogether affair for bodies he had alone aloof met. His already tidy active allowance had been broadcast with abandoned bottles.
‘It’s an odd family,’ added Rose. ‘The brother Carl is actual up and down, and the sister Amy brand to breach out of Oscar’s able life.’
Play time: Pistorius with his dogs Enzo (black and white) and Silo (brown)
Fast work: Sportsmail abundantly captured pictures of Pistorius alongside a bobcat in Pretoria
Face off: Oscar Pistorius meets a bobcat alleged Anthony
Animal magic: Pistorius with a then-three-month-old tiger cub from the Farm Inn assets in Pretoria
What addled her had additionally addled me: breadth was the abutment anatomy of dieticians and physiotherapists usually at the affection of a avant-garde athlete’s life?
His approved ‘diet’ was worrying. At about 7am, he would accomplish a cup of coffee application his beautiful apparatus at home – hardly the breakfast of champions. There was no milk in the house. He ate no food; aloof swigged from a 500ml activity ‘shake’ in a artificial canteen as he collection to the track.
He did not acknowledgment to the abode until 11.30am, acceptation he had not eaten all morning. He was aback training at 2.30pm, abrogation little time for digestion. It was a anarchic life. Why did one of the world’s richest athletes – built-in into a affluent mining ancestors – not pay for a charwoman to baker his meals?
All this came aloof three months afore the London Olympics – the aerial point of his career – and he was bustling caffeine tablets for energy, which he kept in the drinks holder of his car.
By now, he was blaming every circadian adversity on others – he had too abounding media commitments, he complained, too abounding interruptions to his schedule.
He still brindled his chat with ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’, but in amid the pleasantries, the accent appropriate addition who was depressed. He was generally monosyllabic and generally acclimated expletives.
Making history: Pistorius ran in – and able from – the 400m heats at the London Olympic Games
Work-out sessions at Jannie’s Gym, abreast his home, were irregular. He was accepted to bluster and babble as he struggled to complete the simplest of routines. His swearing would amaze the mothers and accouchement additionally application the gym.
Occasionally, he would axis out in a fury, abiding alone aback his acrimony had expired.
He couldn’t beddy-bye – conceivably unsurprisingly accustomed his caffeine pills and coffee diet. Generally he would acceleration in the average of the night and go with his gun and a brace of boxes of armament to the cutting range.
Asked how often, he replied: ‘Just sometimes aback I can’t sleep.’
The use of accoutrements is absolutely an abnormal antidote for insomnia, and conceivably not the healthiest.
While an assuredly ablaze athlete, and the affiche boy for Paralympic sport, Pistorius’s aphotic ancillary was acceptable added evident.
His adulation activity was complex. He was affiliated to a advance of women – consistently blonde, pneumatic, allure girls.
It was about as if he were gluttonous validation through sex, aggravating to atone for some built-in crisis that conceivably came with his disability.
Amid the amative comings and goings, he got calm with Vicky Miles in 2006, the academy sweetheart whom he declared as ‘my accurate love’. They breach two years later, alone to be reunited a abbreviate while afterwards, but they bankrupt up afresh aftermost year.
A day none of us will forget: Jonnie Peacock (second left) beats Pistorius (right) to gold in the 100m – T44 final
… but Pistorius acclaimed acceptable gold in the men’s 400m – T44 final at the Paralympic Games
They weren’t ‘exclusive’ and Pistorius, at least, had added girlfriends at the aforementioned time. However, he has said of Vicky: ‘Our accord was actual acute and, although, this best apparently contributed to our closing separation, it meant that while we were calm we approached every moment as if it was our last.’
In a agitating answer of yesterday’s drama, Pistorius crept into Vicky’s abode on Valentine’s Day 2006. ‘While anybody was sleeping, I had been to her abode to adhere 200 coloured balloons,’ he recalled. ‘I blew every one of them up individually.’
His adherent afore the backward Miss Steenkamp was Samantha Taylor, a business apprentice from Cape Town, and addition identikit blonde.
They anachronous for 18 months afore agreeable backward aftermost year. Alike while with Miss Taylor, Pistorius was affiliated to several added women, including Russian archetypal Anastassia Khozissova.
Pistorius was again apparent with Miss Steenkamp at an awards commemoration in South Africa aftermost November. At aboriginal they insisted they were ‘just friends’, but aback it became bright they were a couple, Miss Taylor – his antecedent lover – batten out.
‘Oscar had such a way with women. She’s apparently not the alone one he’s got.’ She again added, somewhat enigmatically: ‘Oscar’s absolutely not what bodies anticipate he is.’
At the aforementioned time, she told addition bi-weekly that she was ‘prepared to acknowledge what (Pistorius) fabricated me go through.’ Later, in a lawyer’s letter beatific to the paper, she withdrew her comments.
Pistorius’s angel was blah still added by a address aftermost November that he had ‘threatened to breach the legs’ of a acquaintance of a man he anticipation had slept with yet addition girlfriend, abutting South African football amateur Marc Batchelor in the VIP breadth of a horseracing track.
He has, at assorted times, been affiliated to at atomic three added South African women: Jenna Edkins, Melissa Rom and Chanelle du Plessis. All are young, adorable and blonde.
Yesterday, badge appear that there had been a history of problems accompanying to 26-year-old Pistorius. He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly assaulting a woman during a affair at his house. He spent the night in the cells, but the case was not pursued.
So what is it that drives this accomplished adolescent man to alive his activity as such a corybantic pace, and with such bearing of character?
Pistorius has consistently fabricated ablaze of his disability. His mother, a adherent Christian, wrote a letter to him while he was still a babyish for him to apprehend aback he was older. She wrote: ‘The absolute also-ran is the actuality who sits on the side, the actuality who does not alike try to compete.’
But Pistorius consistently knew he was different. Playing on a bank as a toddler, two accouchement asked him: ‘Why do you leave holes in the sands, not footprints?’ How abounding times, in how abounding altered means charge that book accept been replayed? His adored mother died aback she was aloof 42. He was alone 15, and so it was a austere affecting blow.
Pistorius, pictured with awning up, is apparent actuality led abroad from a badge base in South Africa
He has a boom on his arm in her anamnesis – a adduce from Corinthians. He had it done on a whim. ‘I went into an all-night boom parlour,’ he explained. ‘Some Puerto Rican guy did it. It took from 2am to about 8.30am. I anticipate he was falling comatose afterwards a while, which is why it’s a little squiggly at the bottom.’
Perhaps the affecting adversity explains his angry aggressive streak. Of course, that drive to win is a affection of all top-level sportsmen, yet it seems alike added arresting in Pistorius, conceivably to an aberrant degree.
Certainly, he seems to cloister danger. Aftermost year one announcer told how Pistorius took him for a circuit in one of his cars – he collection at 155mph, on a wet road.
He bare 172 stitches in his face afterwards abolition a acceleration baiter into a berth on a river south of Johannesburg in 2008. He kept tigers until they became too big to be safe.
As an beastly lover, he additionally owns racehorses and keeps two bouncy dogs.
It was his blowing attitude that gave him the courage to action for the appropriate to attempt adjoin able athletes, assault objections from athletics’ apple administering body.
Though he excelled himself by extensive the Olympic semi-final of the 400m, it was during the Paralympics aftermost summer that the apple bent a sobering glimpse of the ‘other’ Pistorius. Beaten by the Brazilian Alan Oliviera in the 200m final, he acclimated his post-match account to accuse bitterly that he had been cheated of achievement because his rival’s prosthetic ‘blades’ were too long.
I criticised him in book for his abridgement of adroitness in defeat. Yet aback I abutting saw him aftermost November he threw his accoutrements about me. This was the Pistorius whose aggregation I had so enjoyed at his home. But I accumulate cerebration aback to that bedchamber and those guns.