Lance Armstrong Comes Clean
As recently as this past summer I read a magazine article on Lance Armstrong and came away still believing that maybe just maybe he won all those Tour De France titles without the use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping.
I had been a fan of Armstrong ever since reading “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.” The book was written by Sally Jenkins in 2000 and he chronicled Armstrong’s incredible comeback from testicular cancer and near death to win the first of his seven Tour De France titles.
Of course those wins have been erased from the record books and we now know that the Texan was a cheater and even worse: a chronic lair.
I watched Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey last night in which he finally came clean and admitted he used drugs and lied about it time and time and time again for more than a decade.
By his own admission Armstrong really couldn’t answer the question as to why he is finally admitting all of this although it may be part of some master plan in which he’ll get in the good graces of the public again. If that was his intention I doubt if last night’s first of a two-part interview did all that much.
To be honest the 41-year old did not come across as a sympathetic figure and his words were more cold and calculating than apologetic and emotional. While he confirmed what was revealed in recent months when he was stripped of his titles and banned from every competing again, Armstrong insisted when he returned to racing following a 4-year retirement in 2009 he did so without using drugs and was clean.
Even if that is true it will matter little to most as his legacy was built by cheating, lying and maybe worst yet seeking vindication against those whose accusations turned out to be true all along. While he probably has little to worry about when it comes to legal issues Armstrong could spend the next several years battling civil suits.
I wanted to come away from last night’s interview feeling like Armstrong was remorseful, apologetic, sad over what he had done. I wanted to have some sympathy for a man who inspired millions to wear yellow bracelets. Instead I was left to feel that he was just a man who got caught and over time wants people to forgive and forget. I doubt that will happen.