A while back we had a discussion on our Facebook page when Lance Armstrong lost his Tour de France medals if taking these medals away from him was fair and the right thing. The majority felt that whether he had earned them and it was unjust. Now, we are witnesses as Lance Armstrong confesses doping in his Oprah interview.
The interview took place a few hours after Armstrong apologized to the staff of his Livestrong charity he found and forced to surrender.
In hearing this, the thought that jumped into my mind is “Our society needs a hero.” We need someone who works hard, achieves the dream and stands true to the core beliefs that are who they are and represent the majority. We need someone who tells the truth–from the beginning and accepts the consequences. We need someone who takes the high road, in spite of what their “sport” corruption demands.
Seven Tour de France victories. That’s Lance Armstrong, the cyclist that made me, a seldom-watch-sports individual, sit down, tune in and watch the Tour de France. I didn’t know there was competitive bicycling until Armstrong appeared. His story inspired me to motivate my family to get out and ride bikes together. His story had us having friends and family over to watch and cheer him on as he wound the course, climbed the hills and took the lead.
He was our hero. He had defied the odds. He had beaten his executor. He became our dinner conversation, the topic around the water cooler.
It didn’t matter to us if he won seven. We still rallied behind him. We still wanted to be like him and carry well into our communities and nation. We cheered him on because he was who we wanted to be.
Defeat is inevitable. We cheer for our favorite football team, but we don’t sway when they are the loser. I cheer for the Dolphins and let’s face it; their record isn’t a string of victories that makes anyone say they are amazing.
LiveStrong Lance Armstrong Lets Us Down
He became corrupt in thinking he HAD to win–win not by hard work, but by doping. I might have forgiven him had there not been the lies to cover it up. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice deceiving.
Pride is a terrible thing. It is the demise of values that maintain balance.
I believed him. I stood behind him and cried, “No fair!” after watching him be “punished by his peers” and stripped of what I believed was justly his.
He seemed to be the epitome of all that was good. He challenged his peers to “prove it.” He stood firm in what he “knows was right.”
The public was saddened and outraged when Armstrong was stripped of his Tour titles; sponsors dropped his endorsements when the 1,000-page report came out making him a master-mind villain for a long-running doping scheme.
Behind the good we saw in our hero, there were samples covered up, financial donations all to help him avoid doping detection.
Armstrong did not take the high road when he gathered 100 employees from his LiveStrong charity. He apologized but did not admit he had doped. His actions impacted the people, the very individuals who rallied behind him and helped spread his mission of helping a nation become healthier.
Now I can’t help but wonder if the personal story of surviving testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and brains was true.
But it doesn’t stop with just the doping and the lies to cover it up. Armstrong, the man who is pushing for us to be healthy, live strong. Travis Tygart, USADA chief executive, a man we despised for being our hero’s anti has called the drug practice, ” “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” He also stated in a “60 Minutes Sports” interview, Armstrong and his team of doctors, coaches, and riders to be a “Mafia” that kept their secret for years and intimidated riders into silently following their illegal methods.
Wow. Just wow!
And then it gets darker.
We accepted Armstrong as our hero. We believed he had worked harder and deserved the medals. We cheered him on as he scolded his critics, punished the riders who didn’t comply during the race and turned our heads over the court battles he initiated. One of those battles took place with his opponent, the London-based Sunday Times. They may be pioneering an extensive list of lawsuits as the attempt to recover half a million dollars paid to Armstrong to settle a libel case.
It should be noted that Armstrong’s U.S. Postal sponsorship prohibited illegal doping.
Oh, but wait!
Armstrong now has stated he may be willing to nark out those cyclists who also illegally doped. Tattle-tale!
The lies, the deceit, the doping all rewarded Armstrong handsomely with a net worth of around $100 million.
The news is Armstrong hopes to return to competition in recognized triathlon events.
Unfortunately, I won’t be cheering him on. He let me down. He destroyed my ability to believe there is a hero among us.
Thanks for coming clean, Lance, but you let us down.