Did you hear about Lance Armstrong?
The seven-time Tour de France winner has quit. The man who beat cancer, the man who inspired millions of yellow bracelets to the point of ridiculousness, the man who was strong and powerful enough to give us all hope has thrown in the towel. He is done fighting.
Thursday, Mr. Armstrong announced that he will not fight the USADA’s allegations that he was doping it up while he was competing. He says:
Which, of course, has everyone wondering whether or not he really is innocent, as he claims. On the one hand, I can understand where he is coming from. At some point, the accusations become ridiculous and annoying, and for some, knowing the truth about themselves is enough. Mr. Armstrong has said that people’s minds are probably already made up about whether or not he is innocent, so he doesn’t think a trial is necessary. As long as he knows the truth, that’s all that matters. This is what, I believe, a truly strong, confident person would do.
On the other hand, um, if you’re innocent, why wouldn’t you want to prove that? Why would you be okay with being stripped of your trophies…just because you are tired of fighting? Also, as a champion, as an inspiration to cancer fighters and would-be athletic heroes everywhere, aren’t you being somewhat hypocritical? When you inspire others to fight and work hard to overcome challenging situations…and then you quit when faced with a challenging situation, you are not practicing what you preach.
This last point alone is what has me questioning Mr. Armstrong’s innocence. Forget him trying to prove himself, forget him being tired of fighting and wanting to be able to focus his energies on his foundation. What his legacy is (or should I use past tense here?) was about overcoming hardships. But it seems when faced with the biggest hardship, the would-be-champion is no hero. He is just an ordinary–maybe even a tad weak–man.
What do you think about Lance Armstrong’s decision not to fight the allegations?
image via WikiCommons