Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lance Armstrong

Yes, I'm going there but before i do, I have to mention for the second straight year, the women put on a phenomenal race at Kona yesterday. They have really stepped it up, and it's just a matter of time before the men start to elevate, and this year appears to be the changing of the guard with names like Pete Jacobs and Sebastian Kienle.

I spent a lot of time reading up on Lance Armstrong this week, and by Friday's early morning run, my mind composed a blog entry. I've long suspected that Lance doped, but like so many other people, I too was glammed by the icon that is Lance Armstrong. I remember training on Kona during my sabbatical and Lance happened to be training there as well. Well, we crossed paths several times on the Queen K, and every time he waved, gave me a nod and acknowledged me, I was giddy like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert. Though I knew Lanced doped, I really wanted to like him, and so for the most part, I liked Lance.

But after reading the documents that came out this week, I no longer like Lance Armstrong. The doping, I can forgive, everybody makes mistakes. But what I can't get past is the bullying, the arrogance, and the greed. These things have nothing to do with making a poor decision, but instead, speaks about Lance's character.

Lance seemed to bully a lot of people around him into doing what he wanted for his own gain. And if they didn't agree with his tactics, he used his power and money to persuade them. A lot of his teammates expressed that if they didn't follow Lance, they would lose their spot on the team. I had less sympathy for his teammates because they chose to work with Lance. What really got me was this letter written by Emma O'Reilly, Lance's soigneur. What really struck me is how much he bullied this woman, who definitely had less means than he to protect herself. And maybe I had stronger reaction to this because it was a man bullying a woman.

And then there's Lance arrogance. I can't even imagine lying for that long, it would just wear on my mind and soul. And what does that say about a person who can bluntly and deliberately lie for so long? I really think Lance is some type of sociopath who is so arrogant that he believes his own lies.

A lot of people defend Lance by saying that he has done so much good for cancer. But what has he really done for cancer other than lend his name to a charity and give some talks. To me, the real cancer heroes are the people living with it, and the people who take care of them. From what I hear, a lot of famous people start charities as a way to save on taxes. If you look into it, you will find that Lance has benefitted a lot financially from his charitable work. Of course he is happy to make an appearance here and there for several million dollars in tax cuts and revenue. But what really gets me riled up is that he continued to dope even after having cancer. What a slap in the face for all cancer patients. You would think that after coming that close to death, you would treat your body better than that. Once again, arrogance.

The Lance Armstrong I now see is a bullying, greedy, and arrogant sociopath who flew around the world in his private jet, taking great train-cations. Lance only cares about himself, and really, it's okay to only care about yourself, but just don't be a fraud about it, and certainly don't ruin other people's lives to advance your own.

Now you know what's going through my mind during 5:30 AM runs.


Steve said...

Wow Kiet. What a great update. Lance is still a special and gifted person. He probably played on a level playing field. Everyone doped. he worked harder than all, and is gifted.

Yeah, I think he should fess up. Not an easy step for anyone.

"Hey World Look at me, the real me"

That takes a strength as far as I know only one ever had.

Great update Kiet. :)


Michelle Simmons said...

I am with you 100%. He seriously used to be my biggest HERO.. And I really honestly DID believe that he was clean. I didn't believe any of the arrogance talk I heard about him b/c I simply didn't want to... then all this came out and I did not know what to think... but I read Tyler's book with my jaw dropped open and just kept thinking 'there's no way Tyler could have made this up- it's too detailed'... and Now that the rest of his teammates et al have come out admitting the truth... then Lance tweets that night that he is 'unaffected'... OMG I was just writhing and thinking that I hope he ends up in jail- more for the continued lies than anything else.