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Were Lance Armstrong’s Lies Justified?

Posted By David Whitehead On January 18, 2013 @ 11:37 am In Volunteering | Comments Disabled

Betrayed.

That’s the only way to express the feelings I have as I track Lance Armstrong’s “process of confession.”  In fact, I was so upset I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Oprah interview [1] last night, which, in addition to “coming clean” had to include some justification for why he spent nearly two decades lying, attacking his denouncers and systematically deceiving a community of cycling supporters and fans. (I am one of them.)

[2]

The LIVESTRONG bracelet.

I am an avid cyclist.  I cycle to work most days and even find time on the weekends to get out and enjoy a spring, summer or yes, even a winter day, “in the saddle.”  I watched with relish most airings of the Tour de France, including the majority of Lance’s wins.

But I’m conflicted: were Lance’s lies justified?

I also donate to cancer causes.  In fact last spring, I joined a wonderful group – Team in Training® [3] – a formal training-coaching program conducted by the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society [4] for wannabe athletes like me — for sporting events of all kinds.  I did a Century bike ride (100 miles) with the team in September — raising funds for the cause.  I was so proud to be able to combine my love for cycling with support for a cause for which my family and I have a passion. (My mother-in-law died of leukemia in 1990).

Lance Armstrong helped fuel that passion.

So here’s my struggle:  How do you reconcile the fact that Lance Armstrong’s popularity helped inspire individuals across the country to give more than $500 million and thousands of hours to help support those impacted by cancer – their families, friends, loved ones and caregivers?

If Lance didn’t win seven Tours, would LIVESTRONG [5] have been able to help as many people?  Create the awareness that helps fuel a society’s unifying effort to help find a cure for this horrible disease?

Perhaps.  Perhaps not.

Regardless, I have never been an individual that believes “the end justifies the means.”  I have to believe that Lance’s lies and deception did nothing but help Lance — selfishly — and now will help define his future.  It was Jeff Garvey [6], one of the organization’s founders, and the amazing team of LIVESTRONG — good people — who helped make the organization what it is, what it continues to be and what it will be.

Perhaps LIVESTRONG wouldn’t be what it is today without’s Lance’s popularity — but we would have found another way.  I have to think that good people would have found a way.

My prayers, good wishes and support go to the LIVESTRONG team.  My contribution is in the mail.

Photo credits:  Preston Kemp [7] and Ribbit Voice [8]


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/01/18/were-lance-armstrongs-lies-justified/

URLs in this post:

[1] Oprah interview: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/cycling/2013/01/17/lance-armstrong-oprah-winfrey-confession/1843641/

[2] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/3890106986_97909c3163.jpeg

[3] Team in Training®: http://www.teamintraining.org/

[4] Leukemia-Lymphoma Society: http://www.lls.org/

[5] LIVESTRONG: http://livestrong.org/What-We-Do

[6] Jeff Garvey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNdS7lN1QAs

[7] Preston Kemp: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonkemp/

[8] Ribbit Voice: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ribbitvoice/

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