Lance Armstrong was everybody’s hero.
He started competing as a triathlete at the age of 16 and became a national sprint course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990. He began his career as a professional cyclist in 1992 and won the Tour de France seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005.
In 1996 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain. His treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. In 1997 he was declared cancer-free and that same year founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer Support.
His international fame brought him enormous wealth. His net worth today is estimated at over $100 million.
Last year he was disqualified for the Tour for using and distributing performance enhancing drugs. This week he confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he had created a highly sophisticated system of doping that escaped detection by experts for years. He vehemently denied doping at every accusation and collected substantial sums of money from libel suits.
Armstrong was a gifted athlete whose natural abilities were exceeded only by his insatiable need to be worshipped.
His self destruction calls to mind Greek mythology and its epic tragedies.
One cannot help but wonder if he can escape from disgrace as he did from cancer and write still another chapter in his book of life.
— Emerson Lynn, jr.