Ahem, maybe I was wrong again: Outside Magazine published this recently: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/athletes/lance-armstrong/Its-Not-About-the-Lab-Rats.html.
Armstrong has his detractors and what appears to be a legion of defenders (Take a look at the long list of comments following Bill Gifford’s Outside article). The thing I find interesting is that whenever anyone in any magazine or newspaper or website questions the person behind the image as has happened with Lance Armstrong they are attacked as having a personal vendetta. The defenders’ philosophy seems to be: Attack the questioner; never hold one’s idols up for scrutiny in the name of objectivity.
We are always free to disagree with what we read and it is healthy to hold writers to high standards. Is their thinking as expressed in their writing logical and does the writer attempt to find facts, even while expressing an opinion? To question someone’s motives because they say things we don’t like to hear or which we find distasteful is myopic. People should know there is no such thing as complete objectivity (Hence the ascendancy of Fox News). We all come to every activity with our own perspective, history and philosophies. Our own baggage. Even, ahem, writers and journalists.
It’s troubling to me that Armstrong and his attorneys felt the need to call Gifford up early in the morning and excoriate him for what he wrote. Why did this particular article bother Armstrong so much that he had to angrily call Gibson if Gibson hadn’t hit somewhat close to home? Do we call up every person who ever says something about us we don’t like? And why should Armstrong care what Gibson writes if he is secure in what he is doing? It won’t be news in 15 minutes.
I have my own internal battle with separating my admiration for Lance the athlete, the cyclist, and all his achievements both on and off the bike, from this developing picture of an egotistical, manipulative and insecure demi-god who has opportunistically taken advantage of his achievements in the cycling world to line his pockets behind a shield of a legitimate cancer organization.
Much ado about nothing. If Lance Armstrong is that worried about his legacy, he could spend more time focusing on his stated mission of raising awareness for cancer survivors and enjoying his status of one of the world’s premier athletes (whether he is a cheater or not). As a cancer survivor myself, I’m certain I would give a hell of a lot to have Lance Armstrong’s world stage.
Thanks for reading.