There are a few people I look up to in this world; parents for a start I mean who does not. But after them you look to other places for inspiration and you find people who you have no place knowing but you feel that certain admiration or awe. We all have people in our lives that you look up to and admire and if you ever met that person it would be one of those amazing moments that Kodak would make us believe could be captured in a photo but we all know that it will live forever in your hearts and minds.
So parents aside there are plenty of people I consider in this world are worthy of the title but looking deeper at them there are certain distinguishing factors that have put them there or helped them make that name for themselves. One person who in my mind who elevates himself above this level and is truly deserving of the title ‘awe inspiring’ is Lance Armstrong.
I’ve always been a fan of cycling since, well since I could ride. Deep down I’ve kept a bike with me just in case, I’ve spent quite a bit of time off the bike but in the last year I’m really getting back into it and this year I was paying an extra bit of attention to the Tour as this could be Lance’s big final show. During watching the Tour I also started to read a bit more about the man behind the legend, we all know the cancer survivor story but what really went on? I read the story followed up on the foundation, donated and wear the wristband as I believe for a person to go through that situation and come out the other side with such a devotion to the cause I think is worthy of any respect.
However the recent stir by the French press that a urine sample from 1999 had traces of EPO found in it has also created a conflicting view in my mind.
If any one has read ‘Not about the bike’ you will know the story but to give you an idea, 1999 was Lance’s return to the TdF since chemo and no one could believe his performance and he was tested morning noon and night. He writes in the book quite vividly about the tests and his constant battle against the press and well as the cyclists.
The story now is that the test to check for the use of EPO was not actually first tried until 2000 and they are now re-checking the results from previous races.
To me the problem is the silence that has come from the Texan, I’m not going to holler about fallen idols for ‘how could you do it’ as I’m not concerned for the general argument my beef is with the fact that he has been such an inspiration to so many people, has founded the LiveStrong foundation with over 50 million wristbands on wrists around the world and yet in the face of this he has not issued a formal statement since he denied the rumours on Tuesday.
I’ve not writen this article to pass judgement, to fuel the ‘did he’, ‘didn’t he’ debate, make up your own mind. Or better yet read the book, read the papers and then decide.