I'm not a huge cycling fan, but I've watched the exploits of Lance Armstrong over the years like most of you probably have: with admiration for the man and what he was able to accomplish. He's been an inspiration to a lot of people, and his charity work has done a lot of good. And as all the accusations got aimed at him, I tended to side with him through it all. People will do anything to make a name for themselves, I thought. Tear down a hero to try and make themselves look more important.
Of course, that all changes now that Armstrong has admitted he did, indeed, use performance enhancing drugs.
And now we start to hear how contrite he is and how he wants to change things about drug testing and blah blah blah. Whatever. Here's a man who went on and on for YEARS AND YEARS protesting how innocent he was, and how outraged he was that anyone would try to cast doubt on his sheer awesomeness. And now we find out that the whole time, he knew what he had done, and he knew all those people were right, and yet he continued to publicly insult them all?
What a slimeball.
That's pretty much the textbook definition of a slimeball, actually. Just because he happens to be able to bike fast (when properly medicated) and can raise money for charity by successfully conning a bunch of people . . . doesn't make him a person worth defending.
Perhaps some of this would be different if he had come clean on his own. If he'd had a change of heart and chose to tell the truth. But he didn't. He finally got sick of being called a cheat, stopped fighting the charge, started losing tons of money from sponsors, and now decides he needs to come clean. It's the money that got him.
Does the fact that he did a lot of good--raising money and awareness and hope for cancer--nullify the slimey nature of these revelations? Not really. Not in my book. He profited off people's good nature. And as far as I'm concerned, I don't need to hear another word about him. I don't care to watch his interview on Oprah. I don't care about any publicity--er, apology--tour.
This is a classic example of why it's silly to idolize sports stars or movie stars or any type of stars. We see a tiny slice of their life, and we make all sorts of assumptions about who they are and how great they are. A lot of that is just publicity.
I'm getting too worked up about this. Sorry. I'm feeling a tad grumpy today. Didn't mean to take it out on you. Maybe I'll go find some dark chocolate . . .