Saturday, July 23, 2005

a confession regarding the greatest athlete in the world

I have a confession...

I am not particularly fond of Lance Armstrong.

There, I said it.

Call me a blasphemer and a heretic. Say whatever you like. I cannot help my feelings regarding the "world's greatest athlete" and cancer survivor. Yes, I acknowledge he is the greatest living athlete and is unlike any other human being I have seen (as a competitor and strategist).

But, that does not necessarily make him a great person and nice guy.

One more confession which colors my perceptions. I am also a Greg LeMond fan and Lance has publicly dismissed him (I tend to find LeMond more credible). Plus, before Lance defeated cancer through winning the Tour, Greg LeMond had accomplished biking feats just as extraordinary. He was the first American to win the Tour in 1986. In 1987 he was accidentally shot during a hunting accident. He was critically injured, yet came back to win the tour twice more (against a much higher level of competition).

Does this make Lance's accomplishments any less impressive? No. It just might help to put things into perspective.

By the way, since Tyler Hamilton from Marblehead was found to be a dirty biker last year, I am rooting for Armstrong (and then hoping he goes back to Texas and eats a little barbecue).


DAVID C. PRICE said...

I'm with you, man. LeMond is a MUCH classier guy and I was a huge fan of him when he was cycling. My respect for Armstrong is only as a cyclist. I have no respect for him as a person. As a cycling fan, though, I think it's pretty exciting to see him win this thing seven times.

Alex F said...

Yeah - hard to respect a guy who ditched the wife that stuck with him through cancer in favor of a rock star.

james said...

I'm with you Alex. He may be a great athlete which i can respect, but i have a very difficult time looking past the wife for rock star trade-in.

pete said...

Eddy Merckx was ten times the cyclist Armstrong is. Lance has won 2 Tours more than Merckx did, but Merckx won many other races besides.

kidpositive said...

i think i felt the same way as some of you did about armstrong and his divorce and everything, but then i tried to find out why they divorced and had a very difficult time figuring out what happened. in the end, i realized it was quite presumptious of me to judge another man who i don't know for something that i've only read tabloids about. while it might be true that he ditched his wife for a rock star, i also think it's shitty on our part (me included) for us to judge him as lesser because of that.

DJ Word said...

good point Craig.

Regarding his wife, if I remember the news properly, he actually married his former wife after cancer.

So, if my sources are correct, she was not his wife during the time. Also, as sad as it is, people at his celebrity and social status usually do not have marriages that can last the onslaught.

My problems with Lance are more or less intuitive. There are people I get along with and those I do not. There is something about his drive, attitude and personality that does not sit well with me.

Too many former friends, associates and employees have left disgruntled and said "not positive" things about him for me to believe it is all made up or meant to bring him down.

When I have a problem with someone, it is probably me. But, if many people have problems with a person, maybe that person should evaluate their own stuff.

Plus, he disparaged LeMond publically.

So, my problems with Lance are similar to my problems with someother celeb athletes with attitudes. My problems with Kobe are not about his adultery, they are about his attitude towards others.

I mean, I am a Magic J fan. I like his attitude-especially regarding competitors and the game of BBall, even if his behavior off court was reprehensible with women.

I hope that makes sense.

kidpositive said...

i think i'm with you on that, rick. it sounds like what you're saying is that you pretty much only have problems with people when they say things that reveal something about their character to you. that makes a lot of sense to me, because in that capacity, those people are engaging in a relationship with you (and the larger public audience) through what they say. maybe that's why i didn't have so much a problem with bill clinton with regards to what happened with monica lewinsky, but i did have a problem with him trying to cover it up with those famous words. i saw the lewinsky incident as private, but his statement about it was not private, and therefore brought me into the relationship, so to speak.

it seems to me that humans tend to spend a lot of time forming ideals in the absence of relationship. for example, it seems that a lot of people who think homosexuality is a sin are much harsher in their judgment when they are removed from an actual relationship with a person who is homosexual. it's funny how relationships mend our views on things, because they put a human face on the issue, and cause us to factor love into the equation.

maybe if we spent more time focusing on relationships rather than the abstract arena of moral laws, we'd start to see how the mechanics of relational redemption really work. and maybe the religious right would also start to see that no legislation will ever bring about the redemptive work of the kingdom of God.

Deborah White said...

Rick...I love this post of yours. I quoted and linked to it today from my US Liberals at (See

I read a while ago that Lance promised his wife he would retire a couple years ago, and be a good husband and present (not absent) father. He went back on his word to her. They then divorced.

The other day, I saw a camera shot of rock star Sheryl Crow holding one of his children like the little girl was some sort of prop for the cameras. Really infuriated me.

My husband and I have never liked Lance, ether, Probably why your comment hit a nerve.

And Rick...your blog just gets better and better. Keep it up!

Deborah White