Lance Livewrong By Ryan C. Meier

I’ll be honest; I am not a Lance Armstrong fan and never really have been. I will confess that when he beat cancer and then came back to win the Tour de France in 1999. I was amazed and thought it was a great story. But after that, I eventually returned to my non-fan status.

One thing that especially pushed my buttons was that he only raced in the Tour de France and the Olympics from 1999 through 2005 but nothing else. For a man that loves bicycling, that honestly just seems like a slap in the face in all other bicycling events and bicyclists. He can’t even be bothered to show up for anything less important than the Tour? Come on!

Then, once the allegations of doping started to come around, that just seemed to validate my disdain for him. Of course, there were plenty of others who were tried and true to the Armstrong legacy. So when this all come out, I was curious just how the steadfast would react.

There have been the “Well, everyone else was doing it!” and my response to that is, “Yes, others were doing it and others got caught.”

Others have said, still seemingly in denial,” Yes, he admitted it, but how come he never tested positive?” That, I feel will come out eventually, how the results were tampered.

Yet, there is one response that surprises me. And that is the “How dare the media do this. Don’t they realize what they are doing to his cancer legacy!”

To that, I’m not entirely sure how to respond. Sure, there may be a few media outlets that love his fall from grace, but to imply that they are happy to see his beating of cancer is tarnished is crazy.

For one thing, I think that cancer is probably one of the most hated things in the United States, aside from maybe the Nazi’s. And anytime someone beats it, the story is championed, as it should be.

I believe the only person that did this to his cancer legacy is Armstrong himself. It would be one thing to simply remain silent about doping allegations, saying its’ beneath him to respond. But that was not the case at all. What he did was come back with both barrels on anyone that claimed he doped.  He even filed a few lawsuits.

As hard as it might be, I think the cancer-beating Armstrong and the Tour de’ France Armstrong need to be considered as different beings. Having cancer and battling that, that is something within itself where you have to do anything to win. Hell, if he burned down an entire acre of rainforest, I don’t think many would blame him or anyone else fighting cancer.

But bicycling is completely different. And perhaps that was the problem. After he did take on cancer, he saw himself as untouchable. He could beat cancer, so he could beat everyone else on the Tour. Regardless of what he had to do.

The Tour de’ France became an extension of his fight for cancer. And, to a certain degree I’m fine with that. But what he and others are missing is that the Tour is still just a bicycle race and one that requires people to adhere to the rules, regardless of who you are or what you have done.

 

 

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