Courtesy of MCT
I was duped by Lance Armstrong. For many summers of my childhood, I awoke before the sun was up to watch the Tour de France. I quietly turned on my TV so as to not wake up my sleeping family members. I watched in awe as Armstrong raced through France. My adrenaline pumped as he led the peloton, somehow finding a way to break off into the lead, leg after leg. Year after year, I cheered as he came to the Champs-ÃlysÃ©es, crossing the finish line, not able to be touched by his seemingly meager competitors. All of that was a lie. Since it was first leaked that Armstrong would admit he doped, cheated and lied in all seven Tours de France, I have been oddly affected by it. I was hurt that I had stuck by him, refusing to believe the allegations. I was hurt that he had lied to me, when he could have admitted it in the beginning. But there was another, larger reason why Armstrong’s lie hurt.
Ohio State tells us to “Do something great.” I thought that’s what Armstrong had done; In fact, I thought he had done the impossible. His victories made the impossible seem possible to me. He was a cancer survivor who won one of the most difficult, treacherous sporting events in the world, year, after year, after year. Yet, that was no longer true. With his lies exposed, the impossible seems, well, impossible. He gave us all hope; that through hard work and pure dedication, anything was possible. That hope was gone. Not only did he cheat, but he lied. That I can never forgive. The only vindication I have is that his tell-all interview fell on the birthday of one of the greatest athletes in history – someone who made the impossible possible – Muhammad Ali, as if God were telling us, “it’s going to be OK.”