I don’t know why it is that I feel sorry for Lance Armstrong, but I do.
And it’s not like I am some big bicycle enthusiast, lord I haven’t been on a bike myself in almost 25 years. Had a bad fall in Newport Rhode Island when some drunken frat boys ran me off the road and never wanted to bike again. And honey’s it wasn’t like I was enjoying the ride before the fall. Me balancing on two wheels, not a good match.
Probably the reason I never got around to going to motorcycle school, although they do have those cool three-wheelers.
But I digress. Lance Armstrong moved something in me and clearly millions of others. The way he overcame cancer to continue to be such a magnificent champion, the wondrous foundation he started to fight testicular cancer, the very fact that a biker had risen to such fame, HELLO CAN YOU EVEN NAME ONE OTHER BIKER? all this was part of the great myth of Armstrong.
Even his name was heroic; Armstrong. Arm of the strong.
Like a lot of folks, I felt the avalanche against him, was a witch-hunt. It seemed like the whole world was out to get him and I didn’t want to be any part of it.
Then in honor of his son, he finally fessed up to doping on Oprah.
First of all, kudos to Oprah because I still can’t find her network on my TV channel, so she clearly needs to get the traffic over there but what I don’t understand is why I still care about this guy.
I feel the pain of him being stripped of his titles and medals. I think of him going into his living room and handing over the ribbons, trophies and medals despondent and broken. But I don’t think they actually take the item from him just the official status or do they? Will those ribbons and medals now go retroactively to the second runner-ups? How the hell does all this work years later?
But again, I still care. My gf says he is a sociopath, some say he is not capable of real remorse that he is a driven man going for the end result annihilating all who get in his way.
But I still think of the wiry guy who made millions of non biking fans like myself care if only for a moment about the sport, who raised millions of dollars to help overcome cancer, who rose over his own cancer to soar faster then most of us can even dream of.
I guess what it comes down to is this. He was a John Wayne on wheels, an American Icon, a survivor and a hero and now all that has been shamed. We have so few heroes really, so few people who inspire us to do better, to strive for more that when one of them is shown in the harsh light of truth to be a false god, it just friggen sucks.
oh one little addendum here; the fat bitch comment he made during the Oprah interview and all the ruining of the lives of those who dared to tell the truth about him, that really friggen sucks.