LANCE ARMSTRONG CONFESSION: Can a fraud be a hero?
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 01:01
People around the world and Americans in particular are likely to feel strongly one way or another about the legacy of Lance Armstrong, who used his platform as the world’s best cyclist and improbable cancer survivor to raise millions of dollars for cancer research.
Until recently, Armstrong denied allegations of not only using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career that included seven Tour de France victories, but also that he was ahead of an elaborate doping ring that was pervasive throughout cycling.
An interview with Oprah Winfrey, set to air Thursday, is supposed to reveal Armstrong with no more lies left to tell. After years of making life miserable for anyone who dared to uncover the truth behind doping allegations through lawsuits and bullying his status as an icon, Armstrong is bankrupt of his dignity.
Even now when he’s ready to confess, Armstrong is being criticized for the manner in which he’s spilling his guts. Reports of him going on Oprah’s show surfaced over a week ago. The interview was done Monday, but won’t air until Thursday. Perhaps this kind of preparation is necessary to clarify such a comprehensive scheme. It seems disingenuous to so many.
We don’t know what we’ll get from Lance Armstrong and it’s hard to believe whatever we see, knowing how messy his situation is.
But the takeaway from this story, and why it is in fact one of the biggest headlines we will ever see, is because it shows us the thin line between being a hero and the ultimate antagonist. Even more so, it shows us how an image of heroism can so seamlessly be perpetuated by lies, deception, and at the end of day work for the greater good.
It shows us that not every sympathetic figure has the right intentions and that basic levels humanity can be a lot more complicated when you mix in power and influence.