I’ve noticed that people who comment on the issue, their attitudes and their opinions, fit into commonly recurring categories. So here they are. Which one are you?
THE HERO-WORSHIPPER - When this person heard about Lance’s fight against cancer and subsequent conquering of the world’s toughest bike race, he was in awe. That reaction hasn’t altered much. I think most people were amazed by Lance’s story, in the beginning. It would have been hard not to. It was the stuff of legends. But the hero-worshipper is the person who has had the most trouble letting go of the Lance Armstrong he once knew. He wants to believe in myths and legends. He has trouble adjusting to this new reality. You will often find him spouting views such as ‘well, everybody was cheating’. The hero-worshipper is quite a romantic by nature, yet can be truculent and unwilling to concede.
THE HUMANITARIAN - This person usually has little interest in sport. He thinks sport is silly and can’t understand why everybody gets so excited by it. Very often the humanitarian points to Lance Armstrong’s charity work. He set up Livestrong to raise awareness of cancer and that, in their eyes, is all that matters. So what if he lied and cheated? So much of what he earned has gone towards the fight against cancer, that any damage caused to the sport of cycling is just collateral. Critics of the humanitarian say that Lance Armstrong used his cancer charity as a shield, to deflect criticism of his other more nebulous activities. They point to Jimmy Savile, a DJ in the UK who raised gargantuan amounts of money for hospitals and children’s homes. Only after his death were people made aware that this was a front for hundreds of sexual abuse crimes. They say that by raising millions for charity, Lance raised millions for himself and made investigations into his misdemeanours off-limits.
I’d be interested to hear your views on this. Which group do you fall into? Maybe more than one? Do you have any more categories?
One thing’s for sure, this epic story and its fallout will continue to divide people.
by Mark Capell... www.mark-capell.com