SHARING and CARING…it’s what LIFE is all about!

The ‘Death’ of a Hero

Posted by on Jan 20, 2013 in Blog, Family | 0 comments

Lance Armstrong said it all in his interview with Oprah Winfrey this past week: He lied. He cheated. His narcissistic behaviour “bullied and betrayed people who supported and believed in me.” Despite believing he was “invincible,” he brought shame to his Livestrong Foundation and has been dropped by all his sponsors.

At one point, Oprah asked him if he hadn’t have been ‘caught’ (via the fallout of the confession of a former team member) would he have confessed. He admitted he would not have. So, on the surface it would appear that guilt and shame did not land him where he is today. Being caught did. Yet, when asked, “Are you a better human being because of what happened?” he replied, “Without a doubt.”

Now Lance is seeking forgiveness.

There’s no question that the media and electronic roadway will be filled with strong opinions—”He doesn’t deserve it!”—and perhaps not-so-kind comments—”He’s a blatant liar!” So why dwell on it? Because at one time Lance Armstrong was a household name in our home. He was admired by both our sons as a racer and a winner. Under the influence and passion that drove Lance to race, they took to their bikes: road racing and mountain bike racing, and they did it with fervour and determination, cloning their super hero. Our oldest son now owns a high end cycling shop in Edgewater, Maryland (www., belongs to a cycling club, is very involved in racing and thrives on the cycling culture. My younger son has been less involved in the racing scene but thrives on the pleasure of mountain biking in British Columbia. Being an artist, he painted this picture for a client in British Columbia in 2006. It stands four feet high and duplicates a small photo in a 2005 magazine that described Lance’s supposed last race and his seventh win of the Tour de France. I can’t help wondering how Stewart and Brad feel about the events that have unfolded before the world.

Going back to Lance’s confessions…I had to ask myself, “If I’d been on the receiving end of his verbal carnage or his broken trust, would I be able to forgive him and welcome his efforts as he tries to heal broken relationships?” That’s a hard one, especially when his actions are so far-reaching and damaging and, for some, his motives questionable. But, as a Christian, I’m bound by the Scriptures to do just that—forgive—not necessarily for Lance, but for myself. After all, if I can’t forgive, what gives me the right to expect someone to forgive me when I do a wrong?  Having said that, we all know that being granted forgiveness does not negate consequences. Lance acknowledges that “saying sorry may never be enough.”

So what about Lance? When asked if he got what he deserved, he replied, “Yes, to be punished, but not the death penalty.” Whether or not the decision to strip him of his titles and give him a lifetime ban from racing was fair isn’t the issue. It’s whether or not he will be forgiven. I suppose it all comes down to the choice of those from whom he is seeking forgiveness.

Whatever Lance’s motives are is not for me or anyone else to judge or even question—whether he acknowledges it or not, that’s an issue between Lance and God. Our role is to acknowledge that we are all frail, human beings, and as much as we might think we are above ‘sin,’ we need to be careful, lest we fall.

But trust…that’s another story.



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