Oscar Pistorius Releases Statement on Reeva Steenkamp Death Ahead of March Trial

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

This Nov. 4, 2012 photo shows Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa. A lawyer for the family of Oscar Pistorius' slain girlfriend  said Tuesday Aug. 20 2013, that representatives of the two families were in contact, possibly over an out-of-court settlement that would compensate  Steenkamp's parents for her killing by the double-amputee Olympian, Pistorius.  (AP Photo/City Press, Lucky Nxumalo) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
Lucky Nxumalo/Associated Press

Oscar Pistorius has released an emotional statement on the first anniversary of Reeva Steenkamp's death, highlighting the "pain and sadness" he feels one year after shooting his girlfriend dead.

The statement came via Pistorius' official website:

No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved - and continues to love - Reeva.

The pain and sadness - especially for Reeva's parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow.

The loss of Reeva and the complete trauma of that day, I will carry with me for the rest of my life -Oscar.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 19:  South African athlete Oscar Pistorius appears in Pretoria Magistrates Court for an indictment hearing on August 19, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius, 26 is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp w
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The South African-born runner—seen as a national hero before the incident after successfully winning the right to compete at the 2012 London Olympics with prosthetic legs—was arrested after the tragedy and faces trial in March.

Pistorius allegedly mistook Steenkamp for an intruder before shooting through the toilet door, although the exact details are yet to be defined. Nick Parker of The Sun (subscription required) called the "Blade Runner" a "paranoid gun fanatic who surrounded himself with weapons" one day after the event took place.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 8: Oscar Pistorius of South Africa wins the Men's 400m - T44 on Day 10 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on September 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Steenkamp's parents also released a statement to coincide with the anniversary of their daughter's death, per David Smith of The Guardian:

"All we are looking for is closure and to know that our daughter did not suffer on that tragic Valentine's day," read the announcement.

Steenkamp lived a successful and diverse life, graduating with a law degree and going on to become a successful model in South Africa. She appeared in Jamaica's Tropika Island of Treasure shortly before her death, with episodes aired after the shooting, per Jessica Best of the Mirror.

Uncredited/Associated Press

Pistorius' trial lasts between March 3-20 and will take place at a Pretoria magistrates' court, as reported by BBC News. He has remained on bail since last February and taken part in "low-key training," but has not competed since the incident.

"There was never any pressure from me or his coach [Ampie Louw] to return to competition, it's his decision and it's his decision not to compete," said Peet van Zyl, the runner's agent, per The Telegraph.

Despite receiving "a good number of invitations" to get back on the track, Pistorius has kept himself out of the public eye since Steenkamp's death. The release of his statement coincided with his first tweet since before the incident:

Although Pistorius is unlikely to often speak publicly in the run up to his trial, his decision to break silence on this prominent date suggests he is prepared for next month's verdict.