Updated 1/17/2013: We took an 8-year old to see Lance Armstrong win his seventh Tour de France in 2005. He read the biography and was inspired by the story of Lance’s come from behind victory over cancer and rise to the highest level of the toughest sport in the world. His excitement was wonderful.
It was amazing to stand politely on the sidewalks of a small German town, and to mill amongst the surging crowds in France the next day. We ‘discovered’ the grand entertainment value of The Caravan.
Along the way, Armstrong passed every doping test. The data exonerated him, in fact. Science said he was clean. Technology was in his corner time after time. Until just a month ago.
End of the inspiration
We’ll never know for sure whether he doped or not in his Tour de France victories, but there will be strong suspicions that he did simply because he gave up the fight against the organization that has been chasing him…an organization that claims proof that he used banned substances and methods in 2009 and 2010. In the end, he loses his titles and has a life time ban from cycling competition.
The real tragedy in this story is the child, now 15, whose memories of an amazing July in Germany and France are overshadowed by what has happened to his hero since. I’m still not sure how I feel about this.
UPDATE January 17, 2013:
Tonight, Lance Armstrong went on the Oprah tonight to say he used banned substances throughout his cycling career. He didn’t give much detail and he certainly wasn’t ready to bare all, but he at least has begun to come clean.