Positives still gleam from Lance Armstrong’s actions

Kelvin Duley II

Kelvin Duley II

The last time I heard from Lance Armstrong was about two years ago. He’s been relatively quiet since his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. Allow me to refresh your memory if you forgot how that interview went. Armstrong finally admitted to cheating throughout his career after publicly denying it for several years. Armstrong is quiet no longer though, as he’s made headlines again. This time I have no problem with his comments, and neither should you.

In an interview with BBC last Monday, Armstrong said, “If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn’t do it again because I don’t think you have to. If you take me back to 1995, when doping was completely pervasive, I would probably do it again.”

Whoa there, you cheating, infamous, lying son of a gun. Did you say you’d cheat again? In all fairness, he did say probably, but let’s get real. Of course he was implying he would cheat again. Ole Lance, you. Now that’s the Armstrong I know. That’s the Armstrong we all know.

Now before you jump down his throat, hear me out and hear Armstrong out a little closer.

Given where cycling was as a sport and what Armstrong accomplished as an American cyclist, Armstrong is by far the greatest American cyclist to ever grace the roads. With that said, that title I just gave Armstrong needs an asterisk by it. And we know why. But this man alone put cycling on the map. He brought attention to a sport that has never and will never see that type of attention again. Answer this question. Can you name another American cyclist? I have plenty of time, I’ll wait. Me being the sports fanatic I am, I surely can’t.

So you’re telling me, if given the chance to gain the competitive advantage over the next man is in this needle, you wouldn’t take it? Keep in mind; this is within the time period of 1995-2005. Not to mention, this is the sport of cycling. Not baseball, football, but cycling. There were no astonishing athletes in the sport of cycling yet, at least from America. Sure there were rules and testing in place for PEDs, but it couldn’t have been that hard to pass a drug test. Even I could have taken PEDs, competed, and rattled off seven straight Tour De France titles. Maybe not, but you catch my drift, right?

The throne was there for the taking. The throne had yet to be sat in by an American cyclist. America was itching to see that somebody sit in the throne and receive all glory and notoriety in the sport of cycling. For America, that was just another sport we could call ourselves the best in. And, from there, Lance Armstrong built an empire. He built an empire that impacted not just a sport, but a nation. It wasn’t that long ago that Armstrong was America’s cycling sweet heart.

So you’re telling me you’ll trade all that success in? You’re definitely not trading in dating Sheryl Crow, Kate Hudson or Tory Burch. You’re definitely not trading in the Livestrong Foundation (established by Lance Armstrong) which was a nonprofit organization that provided support for people affected by cancer. Livestrong is a great foundation, regardless of Armstrong’s flaws. You’re definitely not trading in $75 million in sponsors (he lost $75 million in sponsors in one day).

Sure, he faces humiliation and public scrutiny, but to hell with it, I say. I’m pretty sure he wishes he could earn that trust back. He definitely hasn’t made any friends with his latest comments. I at least caught his jest and understand why he would make those comments. If it was left up to me, I would have taken the same path Armstrong took. I would have doped and lied through my teeth.