For the longest time, I was incredibly inspired by the story of Lance Armstrong — the man who survived testicular cancer and won race after race, seemingly unbeatable.
He was a tremendous winner and the foundation that he created raised well over five hundred million dollars for cancer research.
I could only dream of one day being as incredible as Mr. Armstrong — I certainly wanted to at the very least compete in some kind of race like the Tour de France.
Then came the day that it was made clear that Armstrong had been using performance enhancing drugs for much if not all of his career and it all came crashing down around him — not because he actually admitted that he had been using the drugs, mind you.
Despite everything being mere allegation, he lost all of his sponsorships and the Tour de France titles that he had won were taken away from him — why should you keep a ribbon to a competition that you only won through cheating?
Every time I would think back to all of the Lance Armstrong advertising that I had seen in my life and the Livestrong window displays that they had a few times at Macy’s that I saw in passing every day for months while walking to work — and I felt as though I was foolish for thinking so highly of him when seeing those ads.
I found out recently that Lance Armstrong has been interviewed by none other than Oprah Winfrey and that he has made a full confession to Oprah that he was using the drugs during his racing career.
This really got me even more upset than ever — was it not enough that he had cheated his way to victory over and over again?
Now he is working his way to the forgiveness of the country through the one person that so many millions of people look to for guidance — and if all goes well and in Armstrong’s favor, he will be back on the bicycle again.
The one thing that is certain is that no matter how many confessions he makes and pretend apologies he offers, he has almost certainly lost me as a fan forever.
Great article, Gordon! One of the local radio sports guys in NYC made an excellent point about Armstrong. He said if he’s apologizing and then will fade away forever — then he’s forgiven. If, however, he’s only apologizing so he can start stealing again from sick people, then he’s condemned forever.
In what way did the person mean that he has been stealing from sick people?
I think the point he was making was that the Livestrong foundation raises money for cancer and things — and that the foundation is now all based on the Armstrong lie of his life — and so sick people who would normally be helped and healed by that donated money in a hospital or some other avenue had it tainted and poisoned by having go through the Armstrong lie to get services, making them even sicker in a moral and aesthetic sense.
Aha! I took it a bit too literally and imagined Armstrong sitting on a pile of stolen sick patient money. Much like the Salvation Army debacle this has turned me off of ever giving them a single dime!
Right! The Susan G. Komen group has the same sort of taint: http://bolesblues.com/2012/02/07/politics-and-public-health-the-incurable-disease-of-the-susan-g-komen-politics-of-decay/