Lance Armstrong and a sad fall from greatness

Word is that Lance Armstrong will confess to Oprah Winfrey to taking performance enhancing drugs during his record reign of seven Tour de France cycling titles.  After all, doesn’t everyone confess to Oprah?  This segment was taped this past Monday and is set to air on Thursday and Friday on OWN.  I do not watch these shows so I will not see it.  But, I do want to say some things about this sad and heartbreaking story of tainted greatness.  I wore a yellow Livestrong bracelet for many years.  I wore it proudly, and I really felt it meant something, a story of overcoming cancer followed by mind  blowing achievement.  In some respects, it still does, but it it dirtied, muddied by a great athlete who overcame a life threatening disease and chose to engage in illegal drugs to enhance his greatness,  This is a sad, sad story, with a tinge of narcissism and self absorbed failings.  Lance Armstrong is perhaps the greatest cyclist in the history of the sport.  But, he cheated!  Yes, I said it, he cheated.  Did he have to?  Could he have achieved greatness without it?  Who knows?  We will now never know.  Here again we have a fallen “hero”, someone we all looked up to and admired, not just because of his achievements but because of what he overcame to achieve.  No one will ever take away from him what he endured to overcome testicular cancer.  But why, oh why, did he have to succumb to performance enhancing drugs to reach the pinnacle of his sport?  For those of you who watch the Oprah interview, maybe you will gain some insight,  Perhaps not.  At the end of the day, another very sad story.

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