Friday, January 18, 2013

LiveSTRONG and Lance.

Good evening, it is Friday.

Just like many folks in the world, I just finished watching part 2 of Lance Armstrong's confessional on Oprah.  And just like many folks in the world, I'm not impressed.  For just a little fun before I totally rip into is a McKayla's not impressed meme:
This picture is of Lance after all his doping and drugging came to light...he tweeted this just to show the world he still thought he was still the best.  Someone on the internet added a McKayla meme...:)
This is me at the LiveSTRONG Challenge Seattle when I rode my first ever century (100 miles) bike ride on Father's Day 2009.  Amber and Aurora came up and it was a great visit and a great day.  I also rode the ride again the next year but went for the 45 mile ride instead.  At this time I was so proud to raise money and wear yellow for Lance and LiveSTRONG.  I even purchased my bicycle just because it matched the black and yellow colors!  I asked Amber to send me artwork of the LiveSTRONG logo and I nearly got a tattoo on my calf to symbolize my 40th birthday, the accomplishment of my ride, and the great work LiveSTRONG does...and Lance.

But Lance was not the hero he portrayed.  In fact he was just the opposite.  A psychopath who lied for years and years to the world.  And even worse, destroyed the people who told the truth.  Lots of people.  I can't tell you disgusted I am by Lance.  Every sanction they can think of would not be enough punishment in my opinion.  But the public is not so harsh, and it wouldn't surprise me if he is running the Boston Marathon on his 50th birthday in nine years as he told Oprah he hoped to do.

Why so harsh you ask?  I think legacy matters.  Kids today need to know that if you cheat your sport just to win, you will ultimately loose.  Cheaters in all sports are feeling the burn these days, and Lance is not only the latest, but the worst.  The difference in the public eye seems to be his cancer foundation LiveSTRONG.  There is no denying that LiveSTRONG is a very good thing in our world.  The foundation has helped countless people fight a fight for their lives and do it with courage and fearlessness that they got from watching Lance ride.  But Lance was a lie.  Harsh.  So now I have mixed emotions about LiveSTRONG.  Partly because it does good, partly because my sister works for them, and mostly because I know the folks left at the foundation really do care about what they do and I can only guess that Lance has become a thorn in their side too.  But LiveSTRONG is Lance's legacy, and like I said earlier, legacy matters.  I won't go as far as to say I hope LiveSTRONG fails, because I don't.  Sometimes great things come from bad situations.  I would recommend that they change their colors and find a new spokesperson, but in reality they may not need to.  If they wait out the storm, the public may forgive Lance and he may again lead his foundation to greatness.  Maybe not...but maybe.

See you tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Yes, it's very disappointing to find out what Lance Armstrong was really doing - I always wanted to believe him. But the organization he founded is such a source for good in the world - I hope it can go on. (Cute McKayla pic - it's amazing where she turns up!)

Bernice said...

Julian, your comments are right on. I hope the foundation lives on - they do so much good work for so many people.

By the way, Happy Birthday to Maren. I'm sure you'll make it a happy and fun day for her.

Amber said...

I put this on your facebook post, but thought I'd include it here too, for the sake of my own legacy in your blog books :) I'd also like to add (from our CEO Doug Ulman): 'Sometimes great things come from imperfect origins.'

In my opinion, the work of the Foundation has been greater and has stood on its own for years now. The survivors we help take inspiration from each other, and our biggest supporters have always known that we have nothing to do with the bike. Will this hurt us? Yes. Will we go under or have to stop using the LIVESTRONG name? I really don't think so. I think all the media attention is giving people a chance to check out what we really do and because of that we're helping more cancer survivors everyday. We have a big job to do, but I work with the smartest, most passionate people and the work they produce is outstanding and necessary. I don't follow any sports, but I absolutely appreciate how you (and most people) feel and I totally agree about legacy. I hope the Foundation can be one positive legacy that shows that even narcissist lying jerks can do good in the world, and we should all strive to do good in the world.

Julian Slane said...

Thanks Amber, there is no doubt that life is bigger than sport. My view through a sport/life lens may be small in comparison to society's view through a life/sport lens. This conversation that you bring up may be be the conversation of the next few months, thus giving LiveSTRONG a renewed fan base and added support. Time will tell. Maybe this whole thing will be back page (just like on my blog after wishing Maren and mom happy birthday!)news. I will be the first to agree that while the sentiment I felt yesterday will never be completely gone, who knows what the future brings, I may again ride in a LiveSTRONG ride and support LiveSTRONG, and if that is the case...the world will hopefully be a better place than it is today.