Fulton is a first-year news/Internet major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up a daddy’s girl. I wanted to do everything my dad did, and since he was an avid cycling fan I watched the Tour de France. I watched for more than 15 minutes because I had no idea what was going on and how cycling was a team sport with only one winner. However, in those 15 minutes, the narrative of Lance Armstrong was the one thing I grasped on to. He was a saint who had defeated cancer and was preforming incredible athletic feats. Every time he would appear on screen, I would perk up and try to gauge where he stood in the race. I would agonize about his horrible starts to the Tour even when my dad explained that the section of the race he dominated was coming up. I could not fathom that this man deserved to lose anything.
Now he has lost almost everything. His medals, his sponsors, the chairman position of the foundation he created and, mostly importantly, his credibility. When the allegations of doping first came out, I refused to believe them. I would not entertain the thought. Even when 11 of his teammates came forward to testify against him, I called them “liars.” Now I have to accept that Armstrong is the liar.
The facts are overwhelmingly pointing against him. Not only did he use banned substances, but he forced his teammates do it as well. He lied, cheated and made millions of dollars by doing so.
I still love him because it is engrained in my brain to do so. I still cannot truly comprehend that this man I thought was a saint was actually a sinner. He broke my heart, but I am not angry because I have come to realize one thing. Even though he made millions of dollars for himself by doping for victories, he also made 500 million dollars for cancer research. He used his status and his story as a cancer survivor to help other people. Sometimes I wish Armstrong never would have won the Tour de France, but then every single person the LIVESTRONG Foundation helped would have been lost.