A Final Word on Lance
As Lance/Oprah Part II prepares to hit the airwaves, we're also preparing to move on from this saga and shift focus back to the sport that we love - the sport of cycling as we know it. With its early mornings in the park, long training miles with friends and teammates, kids races and charitable fundraising. That is the sport that we love. And no amount of disgust over fallen heros and false idols will change that.
And so tomorrow we'll get up and hit the road, partaking once again in the joyous experience of riding bikes.
Before doing so, however, we provide a final word from Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Charlie Bird - speaking to Dutch TV - on the topic that the world has spent so much time focused on in recent weeks.
For Part I of this story, visit this page: http://team.sixcycle.com/2013/01/18/team-sixcycle-on-belgian-tv/
A Final Word on Lance from Team Sixcycle-RK&O's Charlie Bird
"The Obligation of the Cured" - It's Not about the Bike
Lance Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation ("LAF") in 1997. LAF's mission was to improve people's lives with cancer. They thrust the term 'Survivorship' into everyday lexicon within the cancer community. The word - Survivor - encompassed everyone that had ever been touched by the disease. It was wonderful. Everyone was a survivor.
In 1999, Lance Armstrong shocked the cycling world and won his first of 7 Tours de France. Instantly, Survivors had a leader. A man that not only beat the disease, but returned to life and won the hardest and most famous bike race in history. He coined his mission as fulfilling the "obligation of the cured". Lance's iconic status continued to swell and his obligation grew.
2000 was about validation. 2001 was about "the look". 2002 was about the team. 2003 was about the fight. 2004 was about the record.2005 was about retirement. 7 Tours and a lifetime of leading a community of survivors.
Since, it has all come crashing down. I was one of those survivors. A guest of LAF for their annual Ride for the Roses on 3 occasions and Livestrong Ride Philadelphia once who's had to deal with the fall of a hero over the past 2 years.
Last night I was interviewed by Belgian TV. The footage was also provided to the Dutch television station NOS. Here are my thoughts as a Survivor.