LiveStrong? More like LiveWrong!!
It has just been announced-and honestly, who didn’t see this coming?-that Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France winner-has been officially stripped of all his titles and BANNED from cycling FOR LIFE!! In a world and a sport where doping, PED’s, steroids, whatever you wanna call it is rampant and immediately assumed before even an accusation is even made, how can this come as a surprise to anyone?
In any other sport where you hear about this sort of thing, (mostly baseball) even the most die-hard of fans don’t give it a second thought. Such probably would’ve been the same case for Armstrong but obviously there is something very different in his life outside of cycling that is bigger than any sport accolade could ever be.Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade or so everyone around the world knows who Lance Armstrong is. A cycling superhero (or at least he was) and the founder, inspiration, and living embodiment for his LIVESTRONG charity for Cancer research and treatment.
We’ve all seen those LiveStrong wristbands that started one of the most inspirational and unified sports movements. Athlete or not, sports fan or not, we all wore one of those proudly in support of Cancer research.
Lance beat Cancer what seems now like as many times as he won the TdF and that alone makes every Cancer survivor these days a hero in their own right.
We all know someone close to us who has either died of Cancer, has beaten Cancer, and/or is being treated for it. We all know it’s one of the most physical and emotional pains a person, and really a whole family, goes through. Watching Armstrong go through treatments made us all feel like we were a member of his family and all we cared about was that he recovered and that his charity can continue on collecting donations. His charity, graciously, continues to do so.
But now how should we feel about Armstrong himself? He’s been banned for life, had all his 7 titles taken away from him, and has been thrown under the bus by virtually all of his opponents and even his own teammates for his alleged doping. He cheated! But should we (the public) give him any sort of a pass or even feel sorry for him because of his Cancer and because of the charity that has since raised an insurmountable amount of money world wide for one of the most important of causes?
It’s a very grey area to say the least…
The only cheating I could ever condone today starts and ends with an X Box controller, and even then there are “*” attached to that also. Armstrong made fools of us all because we believed him despite the accusations; we wanted to believe him so badly because we felt like if the claims were true, then it meant the Cancer would kill him. Yes, he did establish one of the most recognized Cancer research charities in the world, but he helped promote it and bring it to life by lying and cheating to all of us.
Do the ends justify the means? Maybe they do here…
Thankfully LiveStrong (which I think should be renamed) continues to collect donations that go towards finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for this horrific disease, but Armstrong has since been forced to step down from the role he held there since the beginning.
At the end of the day, it’s just a sport. When a cure for Cancer is found they will reference Lance Armstrong, as well they should. But not for cycling or his doping. The history books that matter will reference him as a survivor and an advocate for research and should leave out all the rest.