What is Lance Armstrong’s Legacy?
Lance Armstrong announced Monday that on Thursday he will confess in an interview with Oprah that he took performance-enhancing drugs. So, what does this mean for Armstrong's legacy?
In 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles, and resigned from Livestrong. Yesterday, he also apologized to Livestrong, expressing his regret and urging the organization to continue helping cancer patients and their families.
Just like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, or many other baseball players that used performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong has to be held accountable for his decision and his public image is going to be affected. The biggest question remains why did Armstrong lie to the public and to the media that thought Armstrong was innocent, and an inspirational sports figure about using performance-enhancing drugs to help him win seven Tour De France titles?
For Armstrong's efforts, he remains one of the most inspirational persons in sports for not only winning seven Tour De France titles, but also for defeating cancer, and you cannot take that away from Armstrong. Armstrong defeated cancer and fundraised over 500 million for his efforts to help cancer patients by starting his Livestrong organization. His Livestrong movement turned into making yellow bracelets for millions of people to remember his fight, and the fight that cancer patients endure every year. He gave other cancer patients and their families hope that they could overcome cancer.
I believe Armstrong admitting to the truth will show the public that he is brave for admitting the truth. It's made him a man of integrity that he is willing to accept his mistakes and that he is human. By accepting to the fact he cheated in cycling by doping, he is remorseful. He is showing his followers that even though he will be measured by cheating in a sport, he wants to known for beating cancer and inspiring cancer patients and their families to never give up amongst their present circumstances.
Armstrong's decision benefited not only his image, but cycling and Livestrong's image. Not only will Americans have a choice in the coming year to take Armstrong's apology as sincere and as a bold step or to not support him anymore, but Armstrong is going to answer to Americans to how he kept his positive image among the lies he was telling about not taking performance-enhancing drugs.
There is no way that Armstrong is done cleaning up his public image, and he still has a lot of explaining to do why he lied to Americans when he perceived as a clean, innocent person.
Armstrong is going to have to show that he isn't one of sports villains for lying about his performance while helping millions of people defeat cancer.
Will you continue to wear your yellow Livestrong bracelet, or cut it up?