I don’t really understand Idol worship.
When Tiger Woods is slammed with a scandal and gets pasted as an idol and role model that has let down his fanbase, I don’t get it. To me, Woods is just a great golfer and really rich pitchman. I don’t idolize him.
But now, as an adult, I do have someone I look up to. Someone I hold in high regard for his commitment to athletic excellence and community involvement. I’m a Lance Armstrong fan.
I stalked him out at a charity event to get his autograph.
I wear his wristbands, buy his shoes, shirts and gear.
I interrupted a honeymoon to take a day trip to watch him compete in the Tour de France.
I plan to take a trip to watch Le Tour again and make my own ascent of L’Alpe D’Huez, home to so much of his mythology.
When I encounter tough times in training, I summon all my visions of him climbing mountains and vanquishing rivals in Le Tour and I am Lance Armstrong.
So it is with that lens that I view more charges against him, this time levelled by Floyd Landis.
Landis accused other top American cyclists on the Postal Service team, including Armstrong, of using performance-enhancing drugs and methods.
He said he took female hormones and tried insulin once during the years he rode for the Postal Service and Swiss-based Phonak teams, according to ESPN.com. He spent $90,000 a year on his doping regimen, he said.
Landis said that some of his teammates on the Postal Service team were well aware of the doping regimen in the sport. In at least one of his messages to cycling officials, according to a person who received it, Landis said that he and Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France champion, had discussed the need to use blood transfusions to boost endurance. A new test for the synthetic blood-booster, EPO, had made doping more difficult.
Each time they come, a glimmer of doubt in my “idol” sneaks in. Team Lance! becomes Team Lance?
If any of what Landis says is true, I’ll be crushed.
I sincerely hope Floyd is full of it – but baseball fan wished the same of Jose Canseco.
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