I have never liked or used the term “hero” in my life. Any time you put someone on a pedestal like that there is a chance they just might fall off. Such is the case this week with Lance Armstrong. Armstrong won the Tour De France, arguably the world’s premiere bicycle race more that any other racer in the history of the event, seven times. No small feat since he did it after he had prostrate cancer. As one who used to ride a bike quite a bit, I always admired the fact he could do this. Now he could be stripped of all seven titles.
The reason? He allegedly did something called “doping” which is similar to the use of steroids we heard so much about in baseball a few years back, although it involves different substances. I can’t explain it, leave that to the sports guys. All I know is it would give him an edge.
Armstrong has denied it saying he never tested positive any time he was randomly tested and that this is all a set up. While I beleive that could be true, it still is sad to see. How many lives has Armstrong affected in a positive way? How many cancer patients would watch him race and think “If he can beat it so can’t I?” Now we will see his name dragged through the mud, and sadly we will never really know the truth.
We have become a world where everyone tries to get an edge. People will steal, cheat, lie, whatever they need to do to win. While I agree winning is certainly better than losing, it needs to be done honestly. Just as I feel providing people with more and more stuff when they refuse to work for it is wrong, so is something like this.
Again, I don’t know if he did this or not, but if he did he will go from one kind of an example to another, from “You can win if you work hard” to “You can win if you cheat.”
Sad, so very sad.