It’s not about the bike!

“Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes”, “Yes”, !

Five words that began a conversation (With Oprah)! The first 5 seconds were enough for the world to realise they were been taken for a ride by one ‘Flawed’ (as he now calls himself)  person for the past decade and half.

“Its all hard work, it is not how you do in the race, riding 2000 miles but how you prepare yourself for the 3 weeks of action”   All the while these lines meant ‘hard work’, doing it the way it should be done. Sitting on the saddle for 6 hours a day, moving to a different country, doing high altitude training and so on.. But the one that was concealed midst of all this is ‘Cheating’.

No, he dint feel he cheated, “It was a level playing field in that generation”.

His autobiography ‘It;s not about the bike, My journey back to life’ can now be regarded as fiction rather than being reviewed as an “Inspiring tale”, “Lance  Armstrong’s story is the stuff of great men” and so on.

Why did he do it?

“It’s a magnifying glass, the more fame, the bigger you look” He wanted to look bigger.. so he never stopped.

The grit to cheat death and survive cancer taught him a lot and that meant ‘Win at all costs’. The cost of trying to be a hero to millions of cancer survivors, a National hero, a hero to look up to during national crisis like 9/11. The loss of the magnified image after his first retirement from the sport prompted his comeback, and that indeed was “the mistake” as he admits. He would have been a hero forever if not for the comeback. The irony is he was a clean performer on tour for those two years!

“I din’t invent the culture, but i din’t try to stop the culture, and that’s my mistake’ Of course he couldn’t stop the culture because he was a ‘bully’, got the unprofessional riders who dint dope kicked out. He even funded the cycling body for its efforts to keep the sport ‘clean’ or keep him under off the scanner as we now know.

What does the loyal fan (me?), the cancer survivor, another sports man idolizing ‘Lance Armstrong’ do now? Start believing that there is no ‘Hard work’, think of being ‘flawed’ rather than correcting the flawed system and of course ‘Win at all costs’

Lance, looking back feels he did no wrong with his career and the life of millions of people who believed ‘Yes, we can because Lance could’ however the fan who spent years watching the race, believed in the team work and hard work and got a ‘Livestrong’ band strapped on the hand, picked up a ‘Trek’ bicycle or got the ‘Livestrong’ sticker on the Indian bike and felt proud of their hero can now only fret for their mistakes in believing in someone who never believed in himself.

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