Stories of sportspersons rising to greatness and then falling from grace are as old as sport itself. And normally when this happens it usually leaves the sport star disgraced. It not only drives away his fans,but also takes away his social status. And then, as they say, the rest is history.
But then there are some sports stars who are not be affected by any of these things. That is for the simple reason that they are more than just sports stars, they are what we call LEGENDS.
One such example is Lance Armstrong. In the past few weeks, a lot has been said about the man, and his integrity has been called into question more than once. It hurts to see how easily people have forgotten ‘Lance the man’ in the midst of this controversy. And for all those who can’t remember Lance Armstrong the man, let me just take you back in time.
Lance was a promising cyclist, with bags of potential. And just as his career was starting to look up in the right direction, he found out that he had been diagnosed with third stage testicular cancer. His career was in serious trouble, and his life in jeopardy. He was asked to quit cycling. And so, he did.
Only to return after two years and prove to the world that cancer might have taken its toll on his body, but his spirit was indomitable. On his comeback trail, he won seven straight Tour de France titles, a competition which is considered the most gruelling test of the human mind and body. He also became the only man in history to do so.
His haters tried to bring him down by saying that he was on drugs. They tested him before and after every race, only to find out that Lance was as clean as clean could be. And in the past couple of days, they even went on to call him the “ringleader” of the dope team. They even stripped him off his Tour de France titles, suggesting that he instigated his teammates to use illegal substances as well. Now my question is: How can a man who himself hasn’t doped himself, instigate others to dope!?
During his battle with cancer, Lance Armstrong founded his own cancer foundation, which would help other cancer patients fight cancer, or at least give them a reason to hope. The symbol of his foundation, the “Livestrong band” became a rage amongst his fans and admirers worldwide. Now THIS is the Lance Armstrong I know, and this is the man I look up to. For the true fans of Lance Armstrong, it does not mater if his titles have gone. What remains is Lance the man. A man who is a true fighter and a true champion in every sense of the word. A man who epitomizes the ‘never give up’ attitude. A man who fought cancer and then went on to conquer the world.
Haters will hate, but for a few people like me who love Lance Armstrong, he will always be a reason to be strong and “Livestrong”.