I will be watching the Oprah Winfrey Network for the first time this evening. I want to see the interview with Lance Armstrong.
I started racing with the Lakeshore Wheelers in Montreal almost 40 years ago. Our club held weekly meetings during the cycling season and we would watch films of the major races. Like the 1972 Tour De France with Eddy Merckx:
The riders were truly remarkable. Almost superhuman. They made quite a mark on me at the time.
Lance dominated cycling during the 1990s and the 2000s. His accomplishments were also remarkable. Superhuman. And the aura of cheating was around him for many years.
It may surprise some people to find the sheer volume of allegations and stories about his doping over the years. Cycling News has the most comprehensive list here.
When I read Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race, he confirmed my own suspicions about Lance Armstrong as a doper. Hamilton also confirmed my suspicions about most of the riders on the professional circuit. The book was an enthralling and ultimately disappointing read. I had hoped that most of the riders of that era were clean. Most were not.
Armstrong provided a statement when Hamilton’s book was first published:
Writing a book today about events that allegedly took place more than 10 years ago is not about setting the record straight or righting a wrong. It is greedy, opportunistic and self-serving.
Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey will air tonight and Lance will talk about events that allegedly took place more than 10 years ago. I suppose that is somehow different from writing a book.
A neighbour fighting cancer told me that Armstrong’s book “It’s Not About the Bike” was recommended to her. I read it, found it an inspiring story, but now I feel duped. I assume his “LiveStrong” foundation does good work, but it will have a hard time after this.
I’ll just leave this here: http://i.imgur.com/zNTZj.jpg
He still brought a lot of hope to people and what I find fascinating is that everyone is so fascinated by this. Another sports star falling. A cliche.
As for Merckx: careful. He was thrown out of 3 races for amphetamines at a time when testing was hardly advanced.
Had Eddie had access to the same “tools” as Lance had access to, Eddie would have doped too.
Hmmm… did I say that Eddy raced clean? Nope 🙂
The point was that these folks are (were) role models and it is disappointing to find that most of them did not follow the rules of the sport.
As far as a sports star falling, for those of us involved in the sport, it is a disappointment particularly when Armstrong claimed for so long that he raced clean.
Yes. They are role models.
I guess the question becomes, should they be? Seems like using them as role models just leads to disappointment. The thing that Narda once said to me on Tiger Woods resonates “I have only ever used one sports star with the boys as a role model – Tiger Woods. What a mistake”
Seems that they are just bound to disappoint. One could argue like making someone from Hollywood a role model for your kids – odds are …. in our warped, media driven society, we clearly need different models.
That being said, with the sport, you are right – every biker is disappointed, just like every golfer was. The pros of a hero in a sport are that they can take it higher, the cons being their rise to unprecedented levels of power lead to bigger falls.
Well, he will pay now. Forever the disgrace.