On Lance Armstrong

Posted by SuperClydesdale on October 22, 2012 under Commentary | 6 Comments to Read

As a confessed Lance Armstrong supporter and historic defender, I am struggling with how to feel about recent events.   There have always rumors swirling around Lance — and just about any other rider — since I’ve been paying attention to the sport.  The one thing that has always kept me behind Lance is the lack of evidence.

Growing up in the United States, I was always taught about the golden rule of the presumption of innocence.  Certainly this is not the case in many countries.  Just being accused of a crime in some garden spots is enough to drag you out of your house for a summary execution.

In seeking justice here, it has always been that there had to be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the benchmark by which that established has always been with evidence – circumstantial or otherwise – with physical evidence being the key.  Someone’s word alone should not ever be enough to convict.  You can have eyewitnesses, prison snitches, scorned lovers, whatever all coming out against you and unless there was something more, some evidence that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, linked you with the crime, you got off.

Certainly, it appears, the number of people rolling over on Lance Armstrong is pretty high.  A lot of people who were closely associated with him are claiming that they saw him or discussed with him, or were a party to, his alleged doping.  This is my struggle. Certainly, I have to question my assertion of Lance’s innocence.

What makes thinking about Lance as a tarnished rider so painful is the smugness of the people piling on, the people who take such joy in hero destruction.  These are the same types of people who love to rummage through history and find reasons why the people that we put on a pedestal aren’t so great.  Thomas Jefferson: founding father, visionary thinker, statesman, architect of the Declaration of Independence?  Well, if you want to admire a slaveholder, go ahead, you racist!

There are so many people who feel that life has not been fair to them, and that had only luck shone on them like it did for others, that their fates would be different — they might be the ones that people remember and talk about.  They might be on television, or someone would request that they come speak at their event, or have a photo taken with them.  This is a common thread, it seems, to those that take glee in tearing others down, that don’t believe in heroes.  Sometimes, people closest to the heroes are the ones in whom jealousy burns the hottest.

Well, I for one do believe in heroes, and the power of them in motivating and raising the human spirit.  Heroes do great things, and change the world in the process.  All of my heroes are human beings.  I expect that they have flaws and human failings – but so does everyone, and that’s not remarkable.  I focus on what makes people remarkable, memorable, special.

Like it or not, what has happened is going to mean the destruction of Lance Armstrong and, more importantly, everything he’s built.  This means a significant blow to the LiveStrong organization, and its ability to leverage Lance Armstrong’s brand to raise hundreds of millions of dollars and change the lives of countless people.  This had become Lance Armstrong’s primary activity – to use his name and image as a tool for the common good.  LiveStrong is such an incredible organization, its not going to be the same without Lance.   I work with non-profits, and have served on the boards of several, and am the founding director of one now.  I know how hard it is to fundraise – it’s essentially the lifeblood of the organization.  Its easy to find deserving candidates for a non-profit to help, it’s very difficult to get the money to do so.   Lance Armstrong was LiveStrong’s fundraiser in chief.  I think that this is part of the problem for Lance – he became too big, too famous, too admired.   In some people’s eyes, he just had to be taken down, regardless the amount of time and effort it took.  I think that perhaps these people should now dedicate their energies towards the common good, like Lance Armstrong had.

Who’s going to do that heavy lifting now?  Travis Tygart?  Greg Lemond? Tiger Woods?  Michael Jordan?  Wait – those people already had a chance to use their names at their peak to help others at this level, and chose not to do so.  Lance Armstrong dedicated his entire brand, and much of his time and energy towards this non-profit – at the height of his powers and ability to have an impact.  What other individual has done this, athlete or otherwise?  He didn’t wait until he was past his prime, and wanted to remain relevant, still grab a bit of spotlight and remind people of his former glory – he did it from the beginning.

At least the has-beens and never-weres are happy now.  They think that they’ve got their man.  And, for what?  For you people, I ask:  Who is helped by this?  How does this make your life better in any way?  Do you think anyone is going to want to interview you once the dust has settled?  The only reason you had currency was because there was a hero to be destroyed.  You are Monica Lewinsky.  It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle.  It’s too late to save LiveStrong from a devastating blow that it will not recover from.   But, you’ve succeeded.  Sleep well.

  • brendan montgomerie said,

    So much to say about Armstrong. This guy polarizes conversations,
    it’s either love him or hate him. I hate him.
    Back when there was no evidence of doping.
    After his first Tour win he went to the world cup
    in Vail Colorodo. He kept trying to stay in front of Christophe Dupuay(sp?), the World champion who later had his title stripped because he was caught doping, but when things got tight and technical he crashed and got passed. By the world champions
    account, this happened several times, lance passing on the fire road
    only to crash on the single track and get passed.
    And then Lance gave up and called Kristen to pick him up.
    That’s not Living strong, that’s weak.
    Whatever the Lance Armstrong foundation has
    contributed to saving lives, all they say they do is provide
    counseling and support for people struggling with cancer.
    I think that is very important, but the way everybody
    represents them is they are saving lives.
    That is a misnomer. Read what they say they do on their
    websight. The only life Lance Armstrong saved from cancer
    was his own. Now I am being risky to suggest that the
    revelations about Lances misconduct are not finished,
    and with no more evidence than his past and current conduct as a templet for his behavior, I would be very surprised if
    he isn’t caught funneling money from his non- profit
    to a secret account in the Cayman Islands.
    This guy is friends with Mr. Arbusto hanging
    Chad, and it is very unlikely his business practices
    are not influenced by his associate in Texas,
    The former President of the U.S.! Let’s not worship his drive to succeed at all costs, because that is the same as Luke Skywalker
    going to the “Dark side” in order to get free Jedi tricks
    without having to run around with Yoda on your back.
    The same as Wall street’s win at all costs, even if you
    put little old ladies in the poorhouse and strip the U.S.
    economy. We need to look at ourselves and say,” where did
    we stray from the path?” Worshipping winning at the expense of ethics has become this Nations Credo, and Lance
    is merely a symptom of this much greater disfunction.
    We exterminated a native people to gain our freedom,
    enslaved and brutalized slaves in order to emulate the
    fascists we liberated ourselves from. We stepped off
    the path of righteousity long ago. So go ahead and
    love Lance Armstrong. But if you do you are not
    doing this Country any favors, just making yourself feel
    good. Lance Armstrong is a creep who makes this
    Country look like a bunch of cheaters. Bush, Enron, Madoff,
    are not Heros, but Lance is? A saddened citizen of
    the Country with the greatest Geography in the world,
    with the most hypocritical people ever! Me.

  • brendan montgomerie said,

    So much to say about Armstrong. This guy polarizes conversations,
    it’s either love him or hate him. I hate him.
    Back when there was no evidence of doping.
    After his first Tour win he went to the world cup
    in Vail Colorodo. He kept trying to stay in front of Christophe Dupuay(sp?), the World champion who later had his title stripped because he was caught doping, but when things got tight and technical he crashed and got passed. By the world champions
    account, this happened several times, lance passing on the fire road
    only to crash on the single track and get passed.
    And then Lance gave up and called Kristen to pick him up.
    That’s not Living strong, that’s weak.
    Whatever the Lance Armstrong foundation has
    contributed to saving lives, all they say they do is provide
    counseling and support for people struggling with cancer.
    I think that is very important, but the way everybody
    represents them is they are saving lives.
    That is a misnomer. Read what they say they do on their
    websight. The only life Lance Armstrong saved from cancer
    was his own. Now I am being risky to suggest that the
    revelations about Lances misconduct are not finished,
    and with no more evidence than his past and current conduct as a templet for his behavior, I would be very surprised if
    he isn’t caught funneling money from his non- profit
    to a secret account in the Cayman Islands.
    This guy is friends with Mr. Arbusto hanging
    Chad, and it is very unlikely his business practices
    are not influenced by his associate in Texas,
    The former President of the U.S.! Let’s not worship his drive to succeed at all costs, because that is the same as Luke Skywalker
    going to the “Dark side” in order to get free Jedi tricks
    without having to run around with Yoda on your back.
    The same as Wall street’s win at all costs, even if you
    put little old ladies in the poorhouse and strip the U.S.
    economy. We need to look at ourselves and say,” where did
    we stray from the path?” Worshipping winning at the expense of ethics has become this Nations Credo, and Lance
    is merely a symptom of this much greater disfunction.
    We exterminated a native people to gain our freedom,
    enslaved and brutalized slaves in order to emulate the
    fascists we liberated ourselves from. We stepped off
    the path of righteousity long ago. So go ahead and
    love Lance Armstrong. But if you do you are not
    doing this Country any favors, just making yourself feel
    good. Lance Armstrong is a creep who makes this
    Country look like a bunch of cheaters. Bush, Enron, Madoff,
    are not Heros, but Lance is? A saddened citizen of
    the Country with the greatest Geography in the world,
    with the most hypocritical people ever! Me.

  • brendan montgomerie said,

    And furthermore,(lol), I did not vote for Clinton because I thought he was a faithful husband, but because he was a good leader.
    The Lewinski comment above does not apply.
    If Bill Clinton cheated in order to win the Presidency,
    that would be an appropriate analogy to Lances
    cheating to become a Champion. I am 6’6″ tall and
    I do win, in my little world in my little way. I have trained
    for 20 years and deprived myself of food in order to lose
    75#’s of bodyweight in order to get 16th out 3000+ on Tunnel rd on Strava. I won Downieville XC @ 205#’s, I’m not just some bitter
    loser who can’t deal with Lances success.
    Yeah, my “palmares” are so tiny as to be litaraly inconsequential,
    but I did the work the ” right” way, and I’ll
    bet I could beat quite a few 25 year old racers
    who weigh 20-30 lbs. less than I do.
    But that doesn’t matter. I don’t have to be right to point out a wrong.
    Lying and cheating and intimidating are wrong,
    defending that by saying someone has done some good
    is wrong as well. Yes, Lance did a good thing.
    Did he do it to absolve his conscience, or to save
    people from suffering? Maybe both, but a wrong and a right
    don’t add up to 2 rights. It adds up to a wrong and a right.
    What Lance did on the bike is what we are talking about here.
    What Clinton did as the Pres. of the U.S. was
    get this country out of debt. What he had Monica do with a cigar tube
    does not take that accomplishment away from him.
    It is what lance did with a needle that got his title stripped.
    And no amount of hail mary’s or charitable work
    can change that. Did Lance cheat in order to Win,
    beyond a shadow of a doubt? Why don’t you ask
    him? Did anybody miss Oprah? I think
    admitting he cheated to Oprah on national t.v.
    brings it to the level of beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    If you want a Hero, watch a cartoon. Or go to an Animal shelter
    and see the people there working for low pay trying
    to right the wrongs of careless people, or remember
    NYFD going back up, again and again until
    the towers collapsed on them. Don’t try to stuff
    the ultimate Loser into that mold. He does not deserve
    your admiration, and the sooner we get on the same page,
    the sooner we can clean up bike racing. Don’t enable
    cheaters. Wake up!

  • brendan montgomerie said,

    And furthermore,(lol), I did not vote for Clinton because I thought he was a faithful husband, but because he was a good leader.
    The Lewinski comment above does not apply.
    If Bill Clinton cheated in order to win the Presidency,
    that would be an appropriate analogy to Lances
    cheating to become a Champion. I am 6’6″ tall and
    I do win, in my little world in my little way. I have trained
    for 20 years and deprived myself of food in order to lose
    75#’s of bodyweight in order to get 16th out 3000+ on Tunnel rd on Strava. I won Downieville XC @ 205#’s, I’m not just some bitter
    loser who can’t deal with Lances success.
    Yeah, my “palmares” are so tiny as to be litaraly inconsequential,
    but I did the work the ” right” way, and I’ll
    bet I could beat quite a few 25 year old racers
    who weigh 20-30 lbs. less than I do.
    But that doesn’t matter. I don’t have to be right to point out a wrong.
    Lying and cheating and intimidating are wrong,
    defending that by saying someone has done some good
    is wrong as well. Yes, Lance did a good thing.
    Did he do it to absolve his conscience, or to save
    people from suffering? Maybe both, but a wrong and a right
    don’t add up to 2 rights. It adds up to a wrong and a right.
    What Lance did on the bike is what we are talking about here.
    What Clinton did as the Pres. of the U.S. was
    get this country out of debt. What he had Monica do with a cigar tube
    does not take that accomplishment away from him.
    It is what lance did with a needle that got his title stripped.
    And no amount of hail mary’s or charitable work
    can change that. Did Lance cheat in order to Win,
    beyond a shadow of a doubt? Why don’t you ask
    him? Did anybody miss Oprah? I think
    admitting he cheated to Oprah on national t.v.
    brings it to the level of beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    If you want a Hero, watch a cartoon. Or go to an Animal shelter
    and see the people there working for low pay trying
    to right the wrongs of careless people, or remember
    NYFD going back up, again and again until
    the towers collapsed on them. Don’t try to stuff
    the ultimate Loser into that mold. He does not deserve
    your admiration, and the sooner we get on the same page,
    the sooner we can clean up bike racing. Don’t enable
    cheaters. Wake up!

  • SuperClydesdale said,

    See my update of 8/27/13. Lance is scum.

  • SuperClydesdale said,

    See my update of 8/27/13. Lance is scum.

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