Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lance Armstrong: Villain, Hero or Both?

The big news in the sports world today is that seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has reportedly admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs while winning those cycling titles.

This is something that has been expected for a while. For years, there had been whispers about Armstrong allegedly "doping". More recently, Armstrong gave up the fight to clear his name from those allegations.

Unfortunately for cycling, the sport has been dominated by doping allegations for years now. Armstrong is just the most recent cyclist to allegedly admit using performance enhancers.

Armstrong's story was a great one. The Texan survived testicular cancer and fought his way back to the top of the sport he loved. He started a foundation that has raised approximately $500 million to fight cancer.

So is Armstrong a villain for cheating to win seven of the most prestigious titles in his sport? Should his name be mentioned in the same breath with alleged cheaters like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens?

Or, is Armstrong a hero, for battling back from what appeared to be a death sentence and reaching the top of his sport? Or, more importantly, for raising money to fight cancer, which has affected so many people around the world.

As the story unfolds even more over the next couple of days, people will make points on both sides of the argument. After the Winfrey interview later this week, some opinions may change.

Ultimately, it seems to be up to individuals to decide how they feel about Armstrong and in which light they see him: villain or hero.

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