No doubt a number of people will disagree with me here, but I don’t care. After having watched the entire Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey, I don’t care that he doped, and I don’t care that he perpetrated that lie for so long.
What I am, is disappointed. As a fellow cancer survivor, I find it difficult to believe, having gone through what he did in fighting testicular cancer, that anyone, let alone Lance Armstrong, would ever do something as stupid as dope. I never would have. At least I don’t think I would, but having never been in the position of an elite athlete, I can only assume I would have been smarter than that.
But as a cyclist, I’m also a little biased, and despite the doping, I can’t help but marvel at what he was able to accomplish. 7 Tour d’France wins! I know how grueling the sport of cycling can be at times, even at my level, and I know how cruel life can be as well, so I can relate to some extent. Maybe even be a little sympathetic.
Maybe it’s naive of me to accept Lance’s coming clean as something noble, but I do. I also believe he was treated unfairly, and hounded far beyond what other athletes had to endure under similar situations. Some might say it was because he had reached a level greater than that of other athletes, but that doesn’t excuse anything. He still has to pay the price. I just happen to believe he is sincere when he says he is remorseful.
My only regrets are the damage he’s inflicted on the sport of cycling, and a few individuals, but mostly it’s that all the good he was able to accomplish in promoting cancer awareness, and aiding those fighting it, has now been tainted.
He was an inspiration to many of us, and now that is gone.