“Enough is enough” and Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his record setting seven Tour de France titles. He was stripped of his Olympic Gold Medal. A man who overcame cancer, did the unthinkable and built a foundation to help others seems to hit the lowest of lows – and it is because he did the unthinkable, the unbelievable and the impossible. Year after year I would come home from High School to watch Lance Armstrong tape delayed on television – taking his opponents down, one by one. Lance rode a bike like it was a chess game – one move at a time, only choosing the best time to strike. He was an inspiration to cancer survivors, to those struggling with illness, to school teachers and to the high school athlete.
A few will continue to stand by Armstrong and say he is innocent, many say he is guilty, and even more say the US Anti-Doping Agency was on a witch hunt. In the end it doesn’t matter, Lance and only Lance knows if he cheated or if he won by something that we can’t explain – a will, a drive and passion that lead to seven undisputed titles.
In the end the official titles are gone, Lance still has his foundation and he will move on as will everyone else surrounding the sport. What matters is what we learn from these events. Do we continue to be skeptical of every amazing feat? Do we continue to pursue the truth even if it appears the truth has been revealed? I hope we chose to find our innocence again – an innocence that will let us enjoy amazing achievements. I am not suggesting we become naïve but merely suggesting we enjoy when the impossible happens – because it doesn’t happen every day.
The Marris Minute