A Hill Too Far

by Mark on July 12, 2010

Over the weekend Lance Armstrong fell to 39th place in the Tour de France, ending all hope of winning an 8th title in his last tour. The King of Cycling retired in 2005 after his seventh Tour de France victory, an amazing achievement. Despite repeated tests and accusations, Lance left the sport clean. Now, as he struggles through the last two weeks of the tour, new drug accusations shake his reputation more than the cobblestones.

Lance Armstrong is my hero. This is not due to his personality, an acid mix of arrogance and agitation. It is not just about his biking. Although, who will ever forget the last climb up the L’Alpe d’Huez in 2001 when he stared back at rival Jan Ullrich, daring him to catch him.

Armstrong is my hero because he put the spotlight on cancer. Like many, who are stricken with this disease, Lance was a fighter. With determination and luck he overcame it and provided hope through post-cancer success. Lance invested his money, time, and reputation in establishing Livestrong. The foundation raised over $60 million dollars for cancer research since 1997.

As I pedal through the countryside with sweat dripping on my yellow Livestrong wrist band, my thoughts are on Armstrong. Too bad the spotlight pulled him out of retirement. It is tough to see him crash in the Alps. Will the drug investigators catch up with him? No matter, I will continue to wear my yellow band believing the Livestrong foundation is the mountaintop where he will be remembered.

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