Oscar Pistorius in Jail: A Day in the Life of a Disgraced Champion

Updated: 12 November 2014 21:14 IST

From mansions and supercars to a solitary cell measuring 2 meters by 3 meters in a dreaded prison, Oscar Pistorius' life has become a somber tale of tragic proportions. He now lives on porridge, coffee and slices of buttered bread.

Oscar Pistorius in Jail: A Day in the Life of a Disgraced Champion
Oscar Pistorius after being sentenced to five years in jail. © AFP

From an upscale Pretoria mansion to a single cell in the notorious Kgosi Mampuru prison facility, Oscar Pistorius' life has tragically crumbled since the morning of February 14, 2013. In 21 months since killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the high-flying athlete - once hailed for his inspirational determination on the track - finds himself serving a five-year term in jail.

Pistorius' tale is one of mammoth contrasts. From having both legs amputated when he was an 11-month baby, Pistorius worked his way up to become the toast of the world. While he won multiple gold medals in international Paralympic Games, Pistorius made headlines as the first amputee runner ever to compete in the Olympics - the 2012 London Games.

If his professional career was a fairytale, life off the track was glorious as well. He had three mansions in South Africa with a combined value of 8.3 million Rand (£474,000). Pistorius also had all the money to pursue his passions with -- he splurged on a McLaren as a Christmas gift  to himself in 2012.

Barely two months later, life switched lanes from the highway to heaven and sped onto the freeway to hell. He shot his model girlfriend on the morning of 2013 Valentine's Day and while Pistorius claims he thought she was an intruder, was convicted on charges of manslaughter. ( I don't believe Oscar Pistorius, says Reeva's mother)

Reeva Steenkamp Book
Copies of the book 'Reeva: A Mothers Story' by June Steenkamp, the mother of Reeva Steenkamp who was the girlfriend of and was killed by South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, are pictured in a book shop in London.


From racing on the track and partying in clubs, Pistorius' life has shrunk to a two meter by three meter cell - which has a grill and a steel door - which opens to a tiny courtyard. Gone are the mansions - his villa in Pretoria where he shot his girlfriend was sold to an undisclosed buyer in May. Gone are the cars and most importantly, gone are the admirers.

Instead, he has Czech inmate Radovan Krejcir - convicted for kidnapping and torture - as his neighbour and two nurses - assigned to monitor the wing at all times - for company. He is even believed to have shared his birthday cake with them and Krejcir - one of very few privileges given to him alongwith his white T-shirt, tracksuits and two pairs of orange prison uniforms. He is also allowed some money from visiting family members with which he can buy food from the prison shop.

Pistorius' typical day in prison starts at 5.30 am when he washes and cleans up his cell. He then has breakfast of porridge with coffee or juice at 7am,  lunch of some meat and vegetables at 12pm and supper of buttered bread at 4pm. And while depression has a severe after-taste through his waking hours, Pistorius is reading the Gideon Bible - keeping to himself at all times apart from when he has to share a shower with a fellow inmate.

Oscar Pistorius prison
The Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Services prison in Pretoria, South Africa.

© AP

The slight glimmer of hope in the form of an appeal for home detention curfew may be turned down. (Hyperlink) Prison sources though say that Pistorius is calm after the initial meltdown when he was heard sobbing himself to sleep. His mood now is said to be one of relief as he can apparently apply for parole after 10 months. No parole though can permanently heal the trauma and the stigma.

If his rise to fame was meteoric, Pistorius' fall from grace has been every bit as ghastly. At an age where men strive to make their careers, his touched monumental highs and withered away to demonic lows. And with South African prosecutors looking to appeal against the manslaughter conviction and the five-year sentencing on December 9, the Blade Runner faces further cuts to his already ripped and ravaged life.

Topics : Athletics
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