by Natalie Finn | Fri., Jan. 18, 2013 9:49 PM
Did tonight's conclusion of the two-part special work out any better for him? (First of all, how many of the 4.3 million who watched last night even came back for more?)
Here are five more revelations from part deux of Armstrong's admission to doping while collecting a record seven Tour de France titles:
1. The Fire Is Still Burning: "Hell, yes," he'd love to compete again. "I made my bed, but if there was ever a window, would I like to run the Chicago Marathon when I'm 50? I'd love to do that, but I can't," he lamented to Winfrey, calling his lifelong ban from competitive sport "a death penalty." As in, his former teammates got temporary bans "and I got a death penalty." And "I'm not saying that that's unfair, necessarily, but I'm saying it's different...I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure I deserve a death penalty."
2. Water From a Rock: What was more humbling than Nike calling to tell him they "were out"? The often stone-faced athlete was brought to the brink of tears tonight when he revealed that a major impetus to come clean about being dirty was after hearing his eldest son, 13-year-old Luke, stick up for him. "I saw my son defending me and saying, 'That's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true,'" Armstrong told Winfrey. "That's when I knew I had to tell him." The father of five said he told Luke, '"Don't defend me anymore. Don't.' He said OK. He just said, 'Look, I love you. You're my dad. This won't change that.'" Sounds as if Luke is a pretty great kid. (Stepping down as chairman of his Livestrong Foundation—his "sixth child"—was a pretty bleak moment for him, too, for the record.
3. His Ex-Wife Helped Get Him to Stop: Luke's mom, Kristin, who divorced Armstrong in 2003, knew to an extent what her then-husband was up to during his Tour de France championship run. He said he credits Kristin with getting him to clean up his act before his return to competition at the 2009 Tour de France, which he finished in third place. "I never would have betrayed that [promise] with her," he said.
4. He Agrees to Disagree: Both last night and tonight, Winfrey is seen asking Armstrong about the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's assertion that he offered them a donation, the implicit understanding being that the agency would back off its investigation. In response to Winfrey bringing up a 60 Minutes interview with a USADA official, he again denied the allegation, but the USADA reiterated in a statement: "We stand by the facts both in the reasoned decision [about Armstrong's doping] and in the 60 Minutes interview."
5. He'd Do It All Differently if He Could: Not the doping part, per se. Armstrong has already said that he doesn't think he could have won seven straight Tour de France titles without articially enhancing his performance capability. But he wishes he had faced the music right when the walls started to close in. If he could go back, to when they "gathered all the subpoenas, affidavits, came to me and said, ''What are you going to do?' I'd say, 'Guys, give me 3 days. This is in hindsight. Let me call some people. Let me call my family, my mother, my sponsors, my foundation, and tell 'em what I'm going to do and I'll be right there.' I wish I could do that. But I can't."
Do you think Lance Armstrong deserves to be allowed to compete on an elite level again? What did you think of his Oprah sit-down? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
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