I had hoped this day would never come, but unfortunately it has.
As Lance Armstrong started to dominate the Tour de France and allegations arose about doping, one could only wonder…what would this mean for his legacy as a philanthropist and advocate for cancer awareness? If he was in fact found to be guilty, would it diminish or overshadow his efforts to bring solace to the millions affected?
As I am not a cancer survivor myself, it is hard to fully understand the positive impact that Lance has had on so many people, and the hope the he has provided. Then, I read a Facebook post that my good friend and osteosarcoma survivor wrote and it all made sense. At it’s purest, it provides a well informed outlook from a sports fanatic, cancer survivor, and rational but critical being. And one who’s opinions I respect greatly. This is what he wrote:
“The day I was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 I was given the Lance Armstrong book. I remember reading it and realizing that cancer is an unbiased beast and can get any of us at any point in time.
Regardless of being guilty of doping or not, Lance deserves better than this. I’ve always accepted that he was probably doping, mostly because where there is smoke there is fire and he was the best there was in a very dirty sport.
If he did dope, at least he used his position in life to fight and better this world. Not many of us have the opportunity to make a real dent in this life and he most certainly did.
His experience was the single most driving force in knowing I could overcome cancer. Him winning his 7th straight Tour the same summer I was diagnosed with cancer made me realize that by no means was cancer the end of anything and only the beginning.
His strength gave me strength and I will always be grateful to him for that.
Time and time again has he been thrown under the bus by those who were jealous of his winning and his ability to get away with whatever he potentially got away with. The fact that the USADA wants to waste further tax payer money on this witch hunt is disturbing. 500+ clean tests, many of them random. Shouldn’t they be worried about their testing policies if so sure he was dirty? They seemed to catch everyone else.
The man has done more for cancer awareness than almost anyone else in our history. His legacy is not his winning championships in the dirtiest sport around, his legacy is giving a face and voice to cancer survivors everywhere.
While i’m in no way advocating cheating, maybe we can just recognize the sport of cycling (or all sports for that matter) for what it is. If Lance would not have used anything to gain an edge (in a sport where all of the top athletes were doing the same), would he have reached his level of recognition and channeled that energy into an organization that has done so much?
What do you think? Has Lance become a fallen hero, or are we able to look past this? What will Lance Armstrong’s legacy look like when this is all said and done?