What if how we approach the story of Lance Armstrong has more to do with our own moral development than it does with his?

21 Sep

What if our opinion of the Lance Armstrong story has more to do with our own moral development than it does with his?


Lance Armstrong likely abused performance enhancing substances.  If you stop there, the story seems pretty black and white; no ethical dilemma with which to wrestle, no grey.  This is where some people have stayed in their thinking about Lance Armstrong. He is a cheater, he is bad, I would never do that, I am good, justice is served, cheaters never win- case closed, the end.  The problem is, this is not the whole story, not even close.

The Two Lances

There are two very distinct Lance Armstrongs.  If we cannot recognize this distinction, we are in trouble because we may find ourselves on the wrong side of morality.  There is Lance the great and controversial athlete. The straw-man sports hero that we erected to such great heights, just so we can rip him down with indignation, righteousness and a little entertainment too.  We like to do such things in America- just ask the criminal Lindsay Lohan or the crazy Brittney Spears or the fat Jessica Simpson.  We like to build heroes and stars in America because it serves a dark side of human nature to watch them fall.  But Lance did cheat, I won’t deny this and I am not making excuses for it. In context, he cheated in a sport where EVERYONE cheated at that time and we have a historical bias now looking back in time.  Why did we go after just Lance so many years later?  Chances are it is because, despite all of his terribly human flaws, Lance did make himself into a greater Lance: the Lance of Livestrong, the cancer advocate, the man who foresaw his place in history and had a vision for real and positive change in the world.  Ironically, it is likely because of his success as a cancer advocate and subsequent celebrity that he has been hunted by WADA so many years later.  Lance the athlete cheated-just like all his peers and in a sport that almost required it- but he cheated nonetheless. Strip him of his titles, no arguments about this from me (although it is hard to know how far down on the Tour results one has to get to find a clean athlete, if there even was one at that time, not sure who should get those titles now…but whatever).  The thing is- that is the small Lance, the mortal Lance, the fallible and probably selfish Lance (just like all of us!).  The bigger Lance outgrew the shadow of himself when he starting focusing on becoming the single most influential cancer advocate in history.

The Greater Lance, the Lance of Today

What do I mean by the greater Lance? The Lance of today?  I can only explain it tangentially but hopefully the message translates.  The day before the 2010 New York City Triathlon, I went up to my college roommate’s funeral in Connecticut.  She was 26 years old and passed away from tongue cancer. She had been a great collegiate runner and was in medical school at the time of her diagnosis.  I have never been in awe of anyone as much as I was of her after her diagnosis.  She always had faith, hope and projected a spirit of love (not anger- how could this be?), despite what she knew, and she knew.   After her death, her fiancé would wear a shirt around everywhere that said, “KME FOREVER LIVES ON” (KME were her initials.)  He had gotten the shirt from Livestrong and there are pictures of him all of the country in this shirt on Facebook; it seems as though he almost didn’t take the shirt off for months after her passing.  To see those pictures of that shirt meant something to us who knew her. Something maybe more eternal and more noble than bringing the Lance of Livestrong to “justice.”

When my mom was sick with cancer in 2008, she lived with me while receiving her chemotherapy treatments.  Whenever we got home after a treatment, she would perseverate on how difficult and inspiring it was for her to see the 18 and 19 year old men in the infusion center getting their treatments for testicular cancer. (Don’t forget Lance was one of these young men too!)  That helped her through those torturous treatments; even after all her weakness and misfortune, she was still inspired by these young patients. And many of these young patients identify with Lance Armstrong as a source of hope and encouragement.  What does this have to do with Livestong?  A lot.  Lance and Livestrong have made cancer advocacy sexy and cool and trendy and successful in the United States. And if you forget about the power of the Livestrong brand and what it stands for, you forget about the hope and encouragement of a lot of cancer patients and their families and friends.  Sure, you have justice. But if that justice comes at the harm and destruction of the Lance Armstrong foundation and the Livestrong brand, what have we done? Sure- we have acted on principle and legalism; but have we behaved with a moral spirit, with compassion for others even if we haven’t experienced cancer personally, with room for humanism?


Cancer Advocacy

Cancer Advocacy is important.  I can give a lot of examples here but one topical one is the problem of drug shortages afflicting the institution of US healthcare. Many of these drugs are cancer drugs. For instance, we just experienced a nation-wide shortage of Methotrexate. Methotrexate treats certain types of childhood leukemia. Children, who would have LIVED otherwise, have died THIS year in THIS country because of methotrexate drug shortages.  There are a lot of complicated reasons for these drug shortages: outdated FDA regulations, poor manufacturing practices, the failure of free markets to provide functional healthcare, ect.  However, cancer advocacy is really the only thing that will address any of these problems. If people don’t care, things don’t change, lawmakers don’t pay attention, nothing changes, these problems remain silent and deadly. People have to care.  Livestrong has made cancer advocacy a culturally desirable practice.  The Livestrong brand is so sexy that the trendiest sports brand on the planet, Nike, had to partner with them. Keeping cancer advocacy cool and popular is in the best interest of patients.  It is the right thing to promote and the wrong thing to destroy, even at the cost of having a little grace for Lance, the flawed human.


Evaluate your ethics

If you are disappointed, frustrated and angry at the Lance of 10 years ago, the small Lance, the Lance who was just a mere athlete and fallible as all hell, I don’t blame you. The whole sport of cycling has been a disappointment. However, if you can’t appreciate that there are two Lances in this story and  are currently outspoken against a bigger and more contemporary Lance who, for the past several years has truly devoted himself to cancer advocacy, and you are outspoken against the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Livestrong and the company partners who also promote cancer advocacy- I ask you to be very thoughtful about your position and its impact in the lives of real patients. I am not sure you are on the “right” and “moral” side of anything. The world of sport and cycling and triathlon is a very small one and means very little to patients facing their mortality and their families and friends.  These people don’t need Lance to have 7 Tour de France titles. But they do need advocacy. There has never been one foundation or one man who has done more for the public face of cancer advocacy than the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Lance himself.   If you “throw out the baby with the bathwater” here and can’t see the bigger picture- then your opinion about Lance might say more about your own moral compass than his.  This week the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults and REV3 Triathlon announced that Lance will be racing in the cancer survivor wave of the Half Full Triathlon, a race where 100% of the proceeds benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (a significant act of servanthood by REV3 as well). Lance is not racing in a professional field for money here, he is racing in the cancer survivor wave. He is racing to promote the Ulman Cancer Fund and continue his work as the most influential cancer advocate in history.  I am proud of Ulman, Lance and REV3 for doing a good work for a bigger world than just triathlon. I would ask anyone who cannot get behind this cause to reflect upon the implication of their opinion- if not for others, than for themselves.



32 Responses to “What if how we approach the story of Lance Armstrong has more to do with our own moral development than it does with his?”

  1. Jake Rhyner September 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Great read, well written. People doing good for the sake of doing good is great. I won’t question motivation. My only problem with Lance is his denial, he could tell the truth, apologize and then we could all move on.

    • nkelleher September 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      thanks for reading Jake, I think you raise a good point. Hope you are doing awesome!! down in FL now I hear!!!

    • Jim Clark September 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      I like and agree with the overall point. We love to attack those we have revered when a flaw is shown. But is this flaw really there. You seem to have decided, but I question why and how. The essay states as a certainty that Armstrong took drugs. Yet isn’t that to some extent falling prey to the very social phenomenon that you have identified? Where is the proof? He took every test available & passed. The only “evidence” that Armstrong took drugs comes from a bunch of riders who actually FAILED drug tests. They were then essentially bribed with lesser punishment to “tell what they know” about Armstrong. Really? Like they didn’t know what this bargain required? IF the case were brought in a neutral forum (not USADA’s Kangaroo court), with an ability to cross-exam this cast of drug users, I am all but certain that sensible jurors (or a judge) would find the “evidence” insufficiently credible to prove drug use. See Roger Clemens. That doesn’t mean that Armstrong did not use drugs, only that it is unproven. The social norm you discuss causes us to conclude that his frustration with a biased USADA, and subsequent decision to stop fighting it, means he is guilty.
      I think that the better approach is that taken by Bicycling Magazine (despite the headline “The Truth Hurts”): we do not & cannot know if Armstrong used drugs. People have largely decided one way or the other. Sounds like our country generally, doesn’t it?
      Which is, of course, part of what you are saying.
      –jim clark

      • nkelleher September 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

        You are absolutely 100% right, in fact, I have received this same message from others. I did totally overlook the fact that I should even question his guilt in the first place. I admittedly just dont know enough about the USADA arbitration process to really have insight into the issue (I imagine having a law degree would help! =) ) Here is a post that I am going to post on the blog addressing, in detail, the exact point you raise. Thanks for pointing this clear flaw (and somewhat ironic- given that it parallels my criticism of public opinion) out in my approach!! Thanks Jim!! Here is a great comment on the question your raise:

        HI. Please forgive this intrusion. I was looking at posts by friends this evening and ran across a link to your blog post about Lance Armstrong. It was a very well written and solid piece. I just wanted to give you a different perspective on his guilt or innocence and ask you to consider it. I hope it does not offend you or make you think I do not like what you have written. Thanks for reading. Disclaimer: I am a stage4 lymphoma survivor. My fight was guided in large part by information I received, for free, from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Frankly, if Al Capone had created the same Foundation, and instead of the yellow bracelets we wore fedoras and carried violin cases, I would be a supporter of CaponeSTRONG. As far as cycling, the last time I rode a bike prior to remission in 2007 was in 1989 when I was run over by a drunk on a motorcycle. Rather than take issue with anything you posted, I respectfully ask you to consider my view. To me one of the greatest thing this Country affords its people is a fair shot at the Truth, a day in Court. Lance has yet to have his. Please remember that for two years the US Attorney’s office poured through the exact same “evidence” the USADA has. This evidence was gathered over nearly five years by the same investigator who “got” Marion Jones, Barry Bonds and Roger the Rocket. WIth Armstrong, however, the prosecutors felt they had nothing, zip, nada! So the BUSINESS and government contractor just like Blackwater and Halliburton, the USADA, decided it knew more about the Law than the members of the Justice Department and the USADA decided to try Armstrong in the press and declare they had determined Armstrong cheated. They offered Armstrong the chance to admit he was guilty BEFORE they showed him the evidence, and once found guilty they offered Armstrong Arbitration under the USADA rules. As we all know, Armstrong demurred. Did he admit guilt, no, he declined to participate in a process which is so Un-American and so unfair, the USADA virtually never loses.I believe they are 36-1. To be sure one of the reasons they are so successful is in the vast majority of cases they hold a positive drug test. This is not the case in the Armstrong case, and the USADA claim they have positive tests from the 2008 and 2009 Armstrong return has been debunked by scientists. But the most disturbing reason the USADA prevails in their arbitrations is their process is unjust. Their rules of evidence are not close to what a Court or American Arbitration Association would allow. WHile the USADA proudly says Armstrong could cross examine his accusers, the USADA process allows cross examination questions by Armstrong, but the witnesses are NOT required to answer those questions, EVER! ONe last flaw in the fairness of the process is the USADA gives the guilty party a list of Arbitrators it uses and the guilty party must use one of those Arbitrators. No other arbitration process allows this one sided list. So for these and other reasons of unfairness and bias Armstrong walked away. Frankly, I think it was a wise choice. Now Congress is hot on the trail of the USADA to correct a lot of these issues and MORE! Look at the NFL and the Bounty-gate charges against the New Orleans Saints and their players. Under his rules, the commissioner declared everyone to be guilty. The players went to a NEUTRAL ARBITRATION PROCESS, and they are back to work. In fact the last time the USADA was taken to Court, they LOST to a bunch of Law School Students. NO wonder they were afraid to adjudicate the Armstrong case in a Court of Law. So while I believe your piece to be spot on in its conclusions, I have wasted all of your time to merely ask you to leave open the possibility Armstrong just might be innocent of the charges against him concerning doping. Is he crass & arrogant with a chip on his shoulder, does he not suffer fools at all, is he rough on the press, did he steal Sheryl Crow from me only to dump her, YES! But that seems to be the stuff of Champions. Ask Magic Johnson is Michael Jordan would cut out his mom’s liver just to win a back yard game. (YES) Unlike other dopers, Armstrong has yet to have a performance crash or a nagging joint injury so typical of juicers. Now at 41 he remains a tremendous athlete and a role model for people of all walks of life who, like me, are trying to steer their lives back on course after the cancer detour.He is amazing to watch suffer during a Tri just because he HATES to lose and let himself down. If he is proven to have cheated in a fair Arbitration or in Court, will I be disappointed? No, I won’t much care. I know what he does as a cancer warrior and as an athlete leading 28 million people living with cancer to better and healthier lives, and in America, not only do we believe in a Day In Court, we believe in a second chance for those willing to try again and LIVESTRONG! Thanks for taking the time to write your beautiful piece and for sharing it with complete knuckleheaded strangers. RESPECT!
        Jamie Lindsay

  2. Mike September 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Well written. I think the only problem I have with Lance is he is trying to rewrite his personal story to always include the NOW Lance. It is almost like he is trying to excuse he small Lance (your term) behavior because of what he is doing now.

    Personally, I don’t really care that he doped — you said it best — because everyone was doing it. I do care about the lying and continued cover-ups. Tell the truth and let’s be done.

    Thanks for explaining how so many of us feel about this horrible, horrible situation. My hope for the future is that LiveStrong is able to continue to raise the funds required to help those families who deal with cancer to be able to fight through the treatments, pain, and emotional toll this disease takes on them.

    • nkelleher September 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

      thank you so much for your post mike. I think you are right on with a lot of why people are so frustrated. I am so happy to hear you are a continued supporter of organizations like livestrong despite the conflicted feelings!! Thanks for taking the time to read!!!

  3. techknowgnBen September 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Here’s the thing; sports is a microcosm of the whole world. Then ask yourself this: Could Lance have done just as much to fill up this race if he had announced right after the ban (with more time for people to sign up and arrange travel) that he was going to speak at the race, sign autographs and hand out finisher medals? When you ask if those of us speaking are on the wrong side of the moral issue here, consider what Lance could have done it if wasn’t all about him and his choices. He doesnt have to race at all. If his cancer story is whats truly important, his being at the race and telling his story and showing us how important it is to raise funds (which many of us already did long before Lance, and long before he signed up for this race), that should have been enough for him. But it’s not. And asking us to forget the part that makes this wrong because he is willing to have his name made public so he can race, well, thats just being naive. I dont think its right to condemn people who dont like what this means for the sport or in general, and yet not look at what he could have done without changing race day for everyone involved.

    • nkelleher September 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      Hi Ben- thanks for your comments. I am sincerely sorry if I was a bit to harsh in my writing style- I certainly didnt mean to sound condemning; really just trying to question and push people on a position that a lot of people have taken with Lance on a complex issue. I very much appreciate that the issue is complex and that everyone is flawed in their decision making and opinion making all the time (myself very very much included). I am very happy to hear that you are raising funds and supporting such a great cause as Ulman, despite your conflicted opinions on Lance- I think that is really great and admirable. I hope that your race day experience is as close to what you would have liked as possible and I would just encourage you that your support and effort into cancer advocacy is so important and impactful- you are doing a great thing!! Sorry again for sounding too harsh and I am happy to hear you will be out there race day despite any changes you might have frustrations with!!

  4. Adrienne Hengels September 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Love your message Nicole. I like how you described the two Lances… one being small Lance, one being the Greater Lance. Isn’t it true that all of us feel small at times?

    When we judge anyone for something they have done, we are instantly creating a separation from them and us….putting them down, or even putting them on a pedestal as “all-mighty.” Does this help us? If nothing else it hurts us – it makes us feel bad if someone does something better than us. If someone that has done so much, all of a sudden does something “bad” it makes us feel better about ourself. That little bit of sick satisfaction that we all have if we haven’t ever doped….the, “I would never do that” talk that comes up. Really? We have no right to judge.

    I suggest letting both Lances inspire us to be better people. To see everyone as ourselves…. we could all be the people that do these things….the bad, the good, the unthinkable, the impossible!

    • nkelleher September 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Adrienne, this is so incredibly true and I love how you put it. We are all so so so human and it is interesting that we expect anything different from the people we put on pedestals. Thanks for this post, wonderfully articulated and so so true!!! xoxoxox

  5. Ann September 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    Thank you Nicole for such an amazing article. This really sums up why I decided to run the NYC marathon for Team LIVESTRONG this fall even when Lance’s reputation, the cyclist (the “small” Lance), was being scrutinized by the USADA and the media. Thank you for this incredible piece. Incidentally, it was fun to see you race in Maine–my husband’s shop did the bicycle service.
    Ann (Melander) Freeman D’97

    • nkelleher September 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      So cool that you are Dartmouth 97!! Thanks for taking the time to read and I am so happy to hear that you are still a big supporter organizations like Livestrong!! I am an ’04 so I think we overlapped one year! Best of luck in you training and cancer supporting and thanks again!!

  6. Francie Van Wirkus September 22, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Thank you for your thoughtful words. Very nice.

  7. Kati September 22, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    Thank you Nicole, beautifully written!

    • nkelleher September 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      thanks for taking the time to read!!

  8. Carole September 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Eloquent and brilliant, sweet Nicole!

    My .02: I appreciate Ben’s perspective, but I’m not sure I’d agree. Would people show up at a race site to hear Lance speak and hand out medals? Of course – a lot would! But having arguably one of the most controversial athletes in history, adored by some, villainized by others (perhaps rightly so), who with-or-without drugs is one of the greatest athletes in history… having this person participate in an event will draw much bigger numbers and skyrocket press & media attention. Love him or hate him, none of us can deny he has the “oprah effect” on everything he touches. Look what he did for the Leadville 100’s registration. ? The dude sends out a tweet that he is riding in 30 minutes if anyone cares to join – and more than a hundred show up. ? People want to join in when an entity bigger than themselves is featured. Isn’t this one of the most common statements of praise about the sport of triathlon: what other sport can an amateur race with a professional in the same event? Most every triathlete I know, myself having once been included, loves to get to race with the Pros. It’s awesome to watch them run by, see it all in person, while you’re doing the same event. In my opinion, there is no way the press or registration numbers would be equal if Lance was merely “handing out medals”. No chance in Hell. Basic marketing 101.

    If Lance was participating in the Professional wave at HalfFull, I would have an issue. But the guy is in the CANCER SURVIVOR WAVE. Is he thumbing his nose at USADA…? …I dunno, maybe… but the only thing this has to do with “himself” is that he is using his celebrity status to bring attention to the event. Every single dime generated will go towards the fight against Cancer. I can’t believe anyone being injected in this moment with harsh chemotherapy, or your beautiful roommate who died at 26 from Cancer, or my mom who died at 47 from Cancer, or any of the millions of other souls affected by this disease would say, “That doper should not be out there supporting Cancer funding”…” Lance took Cancer by the balls and kicked the shit out of it. We shout for joy at this! We want this for every person struck with it. And as you rightly pointed out, he has used his celebrity and made a greater charitable impact than anyone in history. Period.

    Michael Jordan has a charity. He has donated countless hours of blood, sweat and his time towards it, and people are rightly indebted to him for his generosity. But…hhmmm… know what the charity is? Right off the bat, know what it is? My guess is most of us would be searching Google right about now.

    My bottom line? Here it is. Would I support Marion Jones, convicted and admitted doper, doing a 10k event with all the proceeds going to Autism or Muscular Dystrophy? Absolutely. Would I support her doing a 10k where she was racing for prize money against professional runners? No way, Jose. Personally, I would hire OJ Simpson to host a pig slaughter if it raised money for Cancer. (Sorry, awful joke, but effective)

    Your blog post rocks.

    That is all. 🙂

    • nkelleher September 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Carole- hahah Great post! and thanks so much for taking the time to read it and respond!! I pretty much feel exactly the same as you do and I think that perspective has gotten muddled in the press quite a bit recently. I am so happy to hear it being articulated so clearly- thank you!!!

  9. Ben Ingram September 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    I also lost a college friend and teammate to cancer when he was 21 years old. He was one of those people who treated everybody with kindness – and I know that had he survived he would have lived to great things. So, I certainly understand your pain and loss of your friend.

    That being said – I think you made a few errors that should be corrected. There is evidence that Armstrong was still using illegal drugs in competition as recently as 2010. That’s two years ago – not ten as you stated. Also, you seem to be saying that Armstrong took drugs at some point a long time ago and then started Livestrong. He started Livestrong at the same time as his first tour victory. How can a man who was lying, threatening, and slandering in order to keep his doping quiet and at the same time create a foundation that has unquestionbly done good in the world? The only conclusion that I can see is that both the bad and the good were done with the same goal in mind – to improve his brand in the eyes of the public.

    Finally, Armstrong does not respresent the totality of cancer fundraising or awareness. There are hundreds, if not thousands of cancer charities that do great work around the world. If Armstrong is no longer raising money for cancer – that doesn’t mean that fundraising will collapse – or that people will suddenly not care about cancer. People care about cancer because they’ve had a close connection to it – not because of anything Armstrong has done or said.

    The saddest thing is that many people, like your friend, associated themselves very closely to Armstrong as they were suffering from cancer. They and their friends seem to think that if Armstrong is viewed persona non grata to the public that it somehow takes away from their own struggles. It doesn’t – the two things are seperate. I just wish that more people would see that and hold Armstrong accountable for his actions regardless of their past affiliation with him.

    Good luck in your future endeavors. I only write this because I’m worried that the public no longer cares about doping. Athletes like you deserve to race in a drug-free environment. And all of that seems to be overshadowed in the current conversation about Armstrong.

    • nkelleher September 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Sorry the for delay in response, I went camping yesterday and I actually have to “approve” the comments before they are posted to my blog and I have not had internet (I would certainly never deleted anyone’s post for just disagreeing or criticizing what I wrote- I wouldn’t have written it if that were the case). Thank you for posting- I very very much appreciate different points of view and new perspectives on the discussion!

      As far as responding to your post, I can certainly see where you are coming from. I guess we just have to disagree about the motivation for lance to start Livestrong (and I suppose I am an “ends justify the means” type of person here in that I just don’t care too much about the motivation- just that it was done). I think you are right about cancer advocacy- that there are certainly other organizations out there (like the Ulman Cancer Fund). However, Livestrong is, by far, the biggest private cancer advocacy agency in the country and I am not sure all of those dollars (certainly some, but very unlikely all) would go someplace else in the world of non-profit cancer advocacy. The “coolness” factor that Lance and Livestrong have brought to cancer advocacy does have some very real world dollar impact, and therefore, some very real world resource allocation and services impact.

      I do appreciate that people are concerned that we get to race in a drug free environment as professionals athletes- that is important and, of course, I selfishly and unselfishly agree. I certainly don’t mean to excuse any illegal behavior that may or may not have occurred (I have actually received some posts that question my assumption of his guilt in my post- that is certainly another viewpoint with sharing- and an interesting critique that I didn’t even consider)- I just mean to say that I hope we don’t destroy the cancer advocacy work that has been done, regardless of motivation, to make an example of Lance to the doping world. I think the two issues are separate- but this is maybe where we disagree.

      Thanks so much again for your comments. I am so sorry to hear about your 21 year old friend as well. I am happy to hear you are carrying his memory on, that is important work as well.


  10. Alicia September 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Excellent article and well written. I continue to support livestrong despite being disappointed with Lance as an athlete. However, as a cancer survivor there is no one out there who has advocated for us like him. Thank you for writing this.

    • nkelleher September 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! Best of luck with all future triathlon/running endeavors!!

  11. Ben Ingram September 23, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Interesting that my comment got deleted. If you want to read about my friend and teammate who died of cancer – here is an article. http://www.mlive.com/sports/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/10/catholic_central_grad_sean_ear.html

  12. su dung cpanel September 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

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  13. TJ September 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I’m proud of Ulman, too. I’m doing the race for the third year in a row and look forward to being on a race course with Lance Armstrong. I love this sport (triathlon)!

    • nkelleher September 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      awesome!!! ill see you there!!

  14. FanofGood September 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Perhaps your training has interfered with your knowledge of the real world.
    Your learning curve as well as moral ethics have a way to go, but you are still young enough to absorb important lessons from those older & wiser, at least I hope that is possible.

    As someone has already mentioned, former fab athlete O J Simpson (if he wasn’t still serving time for that unfortunate incident in Las Vegas), would draw a crowd, too.
    It is disgusting to me that you actually argue that since LA brings crowds & attention everything else is okay,because the PR Lance is different from the “other Lance”.
    There is no “other Lance”, just a PR image.

    Have you read about how he mutters to underlings that he hates appearing “at these things” referring to LiveStrong events? Not because he is modest & shy, because he isn’t really there for cancer patients.
    Educate yourself before you preach.
    CheatStrong/LiveWrong’s Foundation & related activities do not anything for curing cancer, everything is about Lance, LanceAwareness, bringing in the benjamins for himself as well as his marketing partners & advertising affilaites.
    Read this http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/athletes/lance-armstrong/Its-Not-About-the-Lab-Rats.html?page=all”

    I am a Cancer Warrior, too & I FIGHT LIKE HELL just like LA.
    The difference is I am not profiteering off the backs of those suffering through the fun of cancer. I support The Red Devils who serve in every way imaginable to help Breast cancer victims right here in Maryland.
    I’ll let them know you are racing on their behalf & sending in a donation. They are amazing, the real deal, Just Do It. Because you have spent so much time & photos demostrating you really care about The Fight.

    Don’t waste any time evaluating your ethics, get on the phone & Just Do It.
    “Since 2002, The Red Devils has invested in excess of $1.8 million in services to help more than 4,000 breast cancer families cope with the economic and emotional strain of living with the disease. We have partnerships with 40 hospitals or other facilities throughout Maryland. Their medical staff and social workers refer patients to our business partners who provide a variety of services at no charge to the patient. Service providers authorized to respond to patients’ needs include van, sedan, and taxi companies; professional house cleaning franchises; Moveable Feast, and catering companies; respite and home care agencies; pharmacies; and complementary therapies practitioners.”

    If LA really wanted to “be there” because he cares:
    1) He should have not had the race unsanctioned so he could prove rules don’t apply to him
    2) Have arranged for an autograph photo op meet n greet to draw in whoever still believes
    3) Donated from his many millions directly
    4) AND not raced at all.
    Drawing attention away from cancer survivors who aren’t rich or famous to endlessly feed his narcissistic ego.
    Oh, & I donate anonymously, because having my name out there as a hero isn’t of any interest to me.

    • Jim Clark September 26, 2012 at 12:35 am #

      FanofGood. Your post is an amazing accomplishment. I doubt that most normal people could have composed a parody that convincingly looked like it was from a person (hypothetical, I’m sure) who is completely self-righteous, egotistical and offensive all at once. In your crude attempt at humor (because no one in the real world could actually be such a self-centered arrogant [fellow]), you present a remarkable satire of everyone who is holier-than-thou by nature.
      Even someone who hated Lance Armstrong would never launch such a misguided personal attack on Nicole Kelleher just for asking a metaphysical question. Where does this attack come from? Who are you to gauge her “moral ethics?” If you read her biography, Ms. Kelleher is indeed an elite athlete. She is also a Dartmouth graduate (biochemistry), and fourth year medical student at UVa, with more than a few years of real world experience.)
      Since a personal attack on someone you obviously don’t know would be, to put it kindly, rude, I think all of us will just assume that your diatribe was meant to be humorous, but just failed colossally. Any other reading of your statements would require a conclusion that you have serious problems.
      –jim clark (someone with 62 years of real world experience, with several relatives who have been stricken by cancer, and who has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)

  15. Juilen October 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Bernie Madoff did so much good. Donated millions to charity. They should let him ring the bell at NASDAQ?

    There are good reasons for Armstrong not being allowed to compete. Armstrong not only doped but he paid off the UCI so they would ignore his positives tests. This corruption does great damage to the sport.

    For much of it’s existence Livestrong wasted millions of donor money on promoting Lance. Today they do some good work but it is hard to ignore that for years they wasted millions promoting and protecting Lance

    Armstrong was part of a decade long, organized doping program. He corrupted the sport. He should be banned for life. If he actually cared about cancer he spend his time working for the cause instead of desperately trying to feed his ego

  16. Deanna October 5, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    I decided early on to not let the media reports sway my opinion of Lance. I really appreciate your article except for the “fact” that Lance is guilty. Like many others I think it is a moot point if he did or didn’t dope. I prefer to think that he didn’t. I totally agree that he has gone on to make himself a great person and created so much awareness for cancer advocacy. Let’s remember that about him and not let the media lead us around by the nose.

    • nkelleher October 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Deanna, I think you are right on. I have backpeddled in posts by others who have also pointed out my unquestioned assumption that lance is guilty..I think you are exactly right. Thanks for the post and best of luck!!

  17. Paul Kater January 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    A very strong and well thought through piece.

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