'I want you to know it's true'
On the second night of answering Oprah Winfrey's questions about his doping scandal, Lance Armstrong, the once invincible and defiant cyclist, finally cracked.
He choked up not when he described the moment his charity, Livestrong, asked him to step down from the board, and not when he talked about the possibility of his never again competing as a professional athlete.
It came when he talked about his 13-year-old son, Luke.
The emotion that he lacked during part one of the interview, which was broadcast Thursday, came a day later when he described how he told Luke about his doping. That talk happened last month over the holidays, Armstrong said as he fought back tears.
"I said, listen, there's been a lot of questions about your dad, my career, whether I doped or did not dope, and I've always denied, I've always been ruthless and defiant about that, which is probably why you trusted me, which makes it even sicker,"
Armstrong said he told his son, the oldest of his five children. "I want you to know it's true."
Last night Winfrey concluded her two-day broadcast of interviews that revealed more emotion from Armstrong than had been seen since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last fall.
As expected, Winfrey avoided asking questions that would have delved into the details of Armstrong's doping, like where he obtained his drugs and who helped him use them.
In the second part of the interview, she asked him whether there was anybody who knew everything about his doping. When he said yes, she neglected to ask him to name those people.
At times, the interview seemed more like a therapy session than an inquisition, with Armstrong's admitting that he was narcissistic and had been in therapy - and that he should be in therapy regularly because his life is so complicated.
In the end, the interviews most likely accomplished what Armstrong had hoped: They were the vehicle through which he came clean to the public about the doping he had kept secret for more than a decade. But they were just the first step to his possible redemption.
Last night Armstrong appeared more contrite than he had during the portion of the interview that was shown the day before, yet he still insisted that he was clean when he made his comeback to cycling in 2009 after a brief retirement, an assertion the US Anti-Doping Agency has said is untrue.
He also implied that his lifetime ban from all Olympic sports was unfair because some of his former teammates who testified about their doping and the doping on Armstrong's teams had received only six-month bans.
Whatever its impact on the broader public, the first of his two nights of televised confession appeared to have little positive effect on the cycling and anti-doping communities.