He used banned substances, he lied again and again denying it, and he bullied to keep the truth hidden. He was right at the top, he was the best, he had profile, he was a living dream, an inspiration to cancer suffers and their families. Wow, how he has fallen a long way! Gutted! Lance Armstrong has let a lot of people down. 80 million people have bought the yellow Livestrong bands; even more have been impacted by the work of Livestrong. Millions more have been inspired in their own lives because of him. Yet, he lived a lie for so long. He allowed us to keep believing the dream of not only survival but thriving after cancer. It was a dream he was desperate to keep alive. He represented life to the full! Undoubtedly Armstrong was looking after number one, but he lived with the pressure of knowing the impact the truth would have on others. You and I will probably never understand just how stressful that was.
Evidently, many other professional high profile cyclists where also found taking the same performance enhancing drugs (quite probably in more extreme measures) and received just a 6 month ban. Yes, Lance Armstrong has let a lot of people down, yet I don’t understand why that means he has to live with a life sentence (lifetime ban from sports). It seems because he had status he has to pay a bigger price! Lets remember he has still devoted much of his time and energy to Livestrong. Doubtlessly the foundation would not have been able to do what it has without the face of Armstrong. Is it right that because he was the best, had profile and was the face a massive cancer foundation that he should be treated more severely? I’m not sure.
He still is a cancer survivor; he fought and worked incredibly hard to regain phenomenal fitness. EPO, Testosterone and Growth Hormone don’t just magically make you climb a mountain like he did. It simply allows you to work harder in training. He still trained hours upon hours, endured the pain again and again, day after day. He was determined and focused. He reached a level of fitness that went beyond the other drug using cyclists. Many will disagree and think that I am crazy, but I still think that he is inspiring. If all the competing cyclists during that era, including Armstrong, were clean, he would have still won. Obviously, he should have done everything within him but also within the rules. He made a mistake (a huge one) but who doesn’t?
I believe there is a time to acknowledge the hurt and disappointment he has caused, a time for apologies and consequences. Following all this, I think there is a time for forgiveness too. I hope people can forgive him for what he has done. He is sorry. Understandably, some need more time than others to get to that place, but ultimately we have to get there. Staying angry and hurt will simply eat away at us. Bitterness and hate destroy, but forgiveness wins every time. Lets remember we have all made mistakes, and fortunately most of us make these away from public eye. Without doubt, Armstrong is going to live with the consequences of his decisions and actions for the rest of his life and thus I am glad that he is an optimist and looks to the future. This is exactly what is needed.
I really hope that as an individual he can deal with these things, re-find himself and become a great man again. Perhaps he can rise again and inspire again as a new man, restored, humble, and whole. Lets hope the people around him can help him rebuild his life. I think we too should be optimistic and move on, remaining hopeful for the future of cycling. It is cleaner now than ever before! Lets look forward, and enjoy the thrilling race of strength and endurance! I love it!