Can we really separate Lance the Athlete and Lance the Person?
Last week, I posted It’s Really Hard to Tell Who’s Lying, in reference to Tyler Hamilton’s interview on 60 Minutes. In the post, I mentioned how I was viewing Lance separately as an athlete and as a person. On one hand, if he’s found guilty of doping it would be one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of sport. But on the other hand, I don’t think it would negate all the good that he’s done as a person, cancer survivor, and advocate. He’s raised millions and helped millions over the years. I’m not so sure his legacy in the cancer-advocate arena would necessarily be completely disparaged. But there are a lot of angles to this thing.
Jamie Axt, a local rider on the Palo Alto Noon Ride, sent me an article by Patrick Hruby of The Atlantic in which the author directly addresses this tendency to separate the athlete and the person. His view is that we absolutely cannot. The athlete and the person are inextricably linked.
Many fans want to separate the recent doping allegations from his admirable cancer work. Sorry, America. You can’t have it both ways. In the wake of the most recent—and most damning—doping allegations against Lance Armstrong, there’s a desire to compartmentalize. A rush to split the celebrity cyclist into two distinct entities. Cancer hero. Possible drug fraud. One or the other. Can we resolve our uncomfortable cognitive dissonance by simply continuing to admire the former while distancing ourselves from the latter? No. Not if we’re being realistic.
There are so many angles to this issue, so many opinions, so many questions. It’s fascinating and frustrating at the same time as the story continues to unfold…sooo slowly.
You can read the full article at The Atlantic HERE. It’s worth it.
Can you separate the two?