Sentiment runs throughout this article, I apologise if it feels a little bit too emotive. I see it as passion rather than over romanticism. Next to footballers I have always idolized cyclists. During my youth Lance Armstrong typified everything I wanted to be. His strength and resilience to fight cancer and go on to win Tour de France titles inspired me to believe I could do anything and become anyone as long as I believed. When I found myself in situations of incomparable adversity I would think about Lance and how anything I could possibly come across was a modicum of what he had to deal with. I remember once when I was on a sporting field aged 15 covered in mud with blood running down my face, minor concussion having just taken a stud to my groin. I was in agony but I remembered a quote by Lance that I have always lived by and has always driven me to climb higher and run faster
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.
All I wanted to do was quit but his words allowed me to play the rest of the game. It goes without saying that I refused to believe the accusations against him.
For years I toiled with these allegations, constantly blinding myself to new evidence and new cases. If i gave in my life was a lie, in terms of sport I would never have that 10% that allowed me to push through the pain barrier. I would never have that switch that allowed me to not think about injury and push my body harder.
On the 23rd of August 2012 Lance Armstorng refused to carry on fighting the United States Anti-Doping Agencies (USADA) ruling. It was at that point he basically admitted to the claims. I was distraught, my world fell apart around me. For the first time I admitted to myself that Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs, he was a cheat.
Since I am now grown up I attribute the man I am today to principally my Fathers guidance. But secondarily to a few sporting stars that I idolized, Lance Armstrong was one of them. The titles, the struggle, the conditioning it means nothing. When he took those drugs and tried to cover that up he lost any kind of respect anyone could attach to him. The thousands of people who looked up to him have been betrayed my his ill decisions and lies.