“I think it is just terrible and disgusting how everyone has treated Lance Armstrong, especially after what he achieved, winning 7 Tour de France races while on drugs. When I was on drugs, I couldn’t even find my bike.” – Willie Nelson
Lance Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 and the hearts of millions along the way. A cancer survivor, champion, and hero to many, Armstrong personified the American Dream and inspired people around the world with his story, work ethic, and successes. The Livestrong Foundation, which he founded to provide support for people battling cancer, has sold over 80 million yellow Livestrong bracelets and raised more than $500 million. Lance Armstrong was an American hero who could do no wrong. Then it was discovered that he did a lot wrong.
After more than a decade denying the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong admitted to the doping charges against him during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013. He said his “mythic, perfect story” was “one big lie.” Not only did he lose the trust of millions, he lost his Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal, which he won at the Sydney Olympics. Some of his original supporters started crossing out the “V” on their LIVESTRONG bracelets after the truth surfaced. The bracelets then read: “LIE STRONG,” as CNN reported. If there’s anything the world didn’t need, it was another person who appeared to work hard and do all of the right things, but actually cheated his or her way to the top.
Love him or hate him, it’s hard not to see the human side of Armstrong’s personal Catch-22 after he said, “I lied because you wouldn’t like me if you knew I was cheating. And you wouldn’t have let me keep winning. I love to win, and you loved it when I won.”
Then just when you start thinking maybe Armstrong isn’t such a bad person and has learned his lesson, you discover he’s still the same conniving, selfish person he always was. This became apparent after he had his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, take the blame for hitting two parked cars on December 28, 2014 in Aspen, even though he was the one behind the wheel, according to this Daily Mail story. Armstrong eventually admitted that he was the one driving after a valet at an event he attended prior told police that Armstrong was the driver. His girlfriend later said it was a joint decision between she and Armstrong for her to take responsibility for the crash so Armstrong could avoid media attention. The guy clearly doesn’t understand the concept of taking responsibility for your actions.
So, when you see or hear Armstrong’s inspirational quotes or sayings (like the ones below), it’s difficult not to become annoyed.
1. Winning is about heart, not just legs. It’s got to be in the right place.*
2. For whatever reason, maybe it’s because of my story, but people associate Livestrong with exercise and physical fitness, health, and lifestyle choices like that.*
3. We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.*
4. Before cancer I just lived. Now I live strong.*
5. Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight.*
6. Hope: that is the only antidote to fear.*
7. I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days or great days.*
8. If you ever get a second chance in life for something, you’ve got to go all the way.*
9. Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?*
10. Giving up was never an option.*
11. I’m on JetBlue and United. So I spend a lot of time on airplanes with other people and in terminals or just traveling around and going to restaurants or whatever. The interaction I get on a daily basis is always positive. I’ve never had a negative interaction.*
12. I could not have won the Tour de France without the assistance of my Chiropractor.*
13. Chasing records does not keep me on my bike. Happiness does.*
14. Knowledge is power, community is strength, and positive attitude is everything.*
15. The riskiest thing you can do is get greedy.*
16. This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it. Study it. Tweak it. Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?*
17. I have never doped… I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests, and never failed one.*
18. If we’re going to be honest, then just say, ‘He’s an a–h—. We had to go after him. He tested positive for being the biggest a–h— in the world.’ Fair, I can live with that. To say that he cheated his competitors? Ask them! Ask my competitors.*
19. My mother told me… if you’re going to get anywhere, you’re going to have to do it yourself, because no one is going to do it for you.*
*And use/using performance-enhancing drugs.