A man amongst boys born on September 18, 1971. Armstrong started his career in athletics early in his life and became a professional triathlete at age 16. The U.S. Olympics called upon him to become a part of their team as a cyclist. In 1989, Armstrong placed 11th in the World Championship Road Race. Thus making him the 11th best cyclist in the world. From 1999 to 2005 he won 7 consecutive Tour de France titles and at the same time battling testicular cancer. Taking on one of these feats and conquering it, is an accomplishment most people could not achieve even in their wildest dreams. Lance Armstrong could be looked at as one of the most inspiring men in the entire world with his Livestrong Foundation, fighting cancer, and becoming one of the best athletes in the world.
January 2013, Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs to boost his riding career. For several years, Lance Armstrong publicly denied using any type of performance enhancing drug to friends, family, and anyone who would listen to him. Millions stood behind him and supported his honor against these allegations.
Emma O’Reilly, Irish masseuse, is amongst one of the many who speculated and spoke out to the public based on her knowledge and experience with Armstrong. After O’Reilly spoke out, Armstrong sued her. Not only did he sue O’Reilly, but he went on to bully and embarrasses her publicly. Unfortunately, O’Reilly wasn’t the only victim of Armstrong’s lawsuits and bullying tactics. On the Opera Winfrey Network, where this confession took place, Lance was not even sure he sued Emma because he claims he sued so many people, one could have been her.
Armstrong admitted, what he says is his major flaw, a man who gets whatever he wants and has to control every outcome. After saying that, Lance states that he knows people could never forgive what he has done, and never will. A former teammate, Jonathan Vaughters, had conversations with Armstrong about being caught using illegal substances. Vaughters exclaimed if Armstrong was ever caught using performance enhancing drugs, ‘cancer’ would be used has is crutch, which would be one of the many ways for Armstrong to control the outcome of the situation. A very interesting question was asked to Armstrong, he was asked if, not only he, but anyone could win 7 consecutive Tour de France Titles without doping; his answer was plainly “no.” In today’s athletic world ‘No’ is a word every athlete strives away from. Performers find an edge by finding the right trainer/training and staying committed. If you want to succeed never give up on chasing your dream. I do not believe Armstrong is right about an individual not being able to win 7 consecutive titles. Look at Michael Phelps winning 8 gold medals in one Summer Olympics. The New York Yankees have 27 World Series Titles, with winning 5 consecutively. Some can debate that it is a team sport and it is easier to win consecutively titles, and others can debate its harder.
The lesson for me in this unfortunate situation is two-fold. First, no matter who you look up to, whether it’s a sports figure, politician or preacher, we are all human and will make mistakes each and every day. Lance Armstrong was idolized by millions and now the same people who looked to him for inspiration feel abandoned, frustrated, misled and hurt because they put their faith and adoration in a fraud. It is okay to find strength in other people or public figures’ triumphs and success. However, we must ultimately find our strength from within.