Sigh. SIGH. Where to begin Lance? Where to begin? I heard a rumor that you were planning to sit down with Oprah and admit to the “doping” allegations and my first thought was “SIGHHHHHHHHHHH”. I was one of the naive few who believed you really didn’t take any performance enhancing substances while you were competing for your 887946 Tour de France titles and now I guess that’s shot to hell…but here’s the thing, I don’t care.
You see Lance; I think you’re kind of amazing. You’ve raised countless of millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research with your LIVESTRONG organization, you’ve beaten cancer, you’ve kept your composure (in my opinion at least) during these ridiculous events, and regardless of any performance enhancing drugs, you competed in 887946 (I’ve got a flare for the dramatics) Tour de France races and won! That’s fantastic! To be quite honest with you Lance (I can call you Lance right? Ha) I highly doubt, even with a performance enhancing drug, that I could complete 1/3 of a Tour de France, let alone win one, so yeah…you’re still kind of a badass.
So I guess I’ve just taken to my blog to write you this letter that you’ll never see to tell you that I still love you. I still think you’re an amazing athlete and while you may or may not have made a couple of questionable decisions when training, I still think you deserve all those titles. I don’t think the intense witch hunt that was brought upon you was necessary and I don’t really understand it. I’m sure a TON of athletes in every sport you can think of have used things to help their performance and while some have been caught, some will be caught, and some will probably never be caught, I still don’t think that takes away from every accomplishment you’ve ever had as an athlete. I don’t know the extent of your “doping” or if you ever “doped” or whether or not you’ll even admit anything to Oprah (although she does have a way of dragging the truth out of people) but I can honestly tell you, I don’t care.
Now I feel I should say this to you Lance, I’m sure I don’t know the entire story so I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I do. I heard things went down in a kind of shady way between you and your teammates and I’m sure there are tons of different versions of the story. I also want to make sure that we’re both on the same page in my saying that I don’t think you’re 100% innocent NOR do I think you’re necessarily a victim; HOWEVER, I don’t think you’re a horrible villain either. I’m pretty sure it’s common knowledge that A LOT of people in your sport (and others for that matter) partake in a bit of doping so I suppose you were just making everything equal (?), but I’m not entirely sure I care. I personally don’t feel deceived by you; I don’t feel like you’re any less of an amazing athlete, person, and yes, even role model. You made a bad decision, you got caught, you may or may not have handled it in the best way, and you lied about it (?) but in the end it looks like you’re coming clean…and what can children learn from that? That people make mistakes and are human.
I hope that the reason you sat down with Oprah was not out of any obligation you felt to people but just something you did for yourself. Perhaps you were tired of the speculation or the overreaction that people can have when they don’t know the whole truth or maybe you just simply didn’t care anymore. So yeah, I don’t know what you plan to say in this interview tonight and I don’t know if I even plan to watch it but I want you to know that to me and a lot of people who still love and respect what you’re about, it doesn’t matter. There are very few things you could do, in my humble opinion, that could negate the amazing philanthropic things you have already done…and finding out you used any kind of performance enhancing drugs is not one of them.
I saw from a few people online that they’ve lost all respect for you and to that I say, whatever. The funny thing about respect is that if you have it for yourself, other people’s opinions of you are rarely necessary. I’m sure that the people in your life that you hold dear know where you’re coming from and I only hope that you have come to terms with what’s happened, accepted it, and moved on. So long live Lance Armstrong, long live your athletic victories, long live your battle against cancer, and God bless you for all the money you’ve raised for cancer research. I love you Lance, I think you’re amazing. It’s hard to argue with someone who seems like a genuinely good guy, who beat cancer TWICE, happened to raise upwards of 500 million dollars towards cancer research, and who won those 887946 Tour de France titles and yes, as far as I’m concerned you still won them.
And as if all of that wasn’t enough…you’re from TEXAS! And us Texans gotta stick together.
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