Monday, October 22, 2012

My Unfashionable View of Lance Armstrong’s Fall from Grace

My Unfashionable View of Lance Armstrong’s Fall from Grace

I am taking what will no doubt be considered an unpopular position on Lance Armstrong. He is not the only athlete that has used performance-enhancing drugs. He is just the most recent in a pantheon of professional athletes to have ultimately gotten caught.

Sports figures should not be considered heroes. They are often talented men and women who have exploited physical and mental strengths through sheer talent or a combination of talent and hard work. They are entertainers and those at the top of their game are paid handsomely for their performances.  But true heroes are those who toil without recognition for the greater good or those who represent triumph over tragedy and inspire the masses.

Lance Armstrong inspired the masses. Not only did he overcome stage 3 testicular-cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain requiring multiple surgeries, but he rebounded in spectacular style and fought to achieve greater physical and mental stamina than he had before his diagnosis.

The Tour de France is a grueling race. Other cyclists that used performance- enhancing drugs during the same period did not beat him. His achievements, despite the scandal, are amazing. Under any circumstances, he should be respected as one who did not let cancer, a word that fills anyone with that diagnosis with abject fear, beat him. 

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