We don’t subscribe to the OWN Network at home, but I happen to be on the road tonight and my hotel carries the network on which Lance Armstrong is being interviewed by O. It’s about 40 minutes into what I think is a ninety minute show. There’s another 90 coming tomorrow, I believe. I’d read a lot over the last few days about what Lance was reported to have said, and more critically, what he didn’t say. I certainly got the impression that he had been cautious and even evasive. Upon watching, that’s not at all what I perceived.
Let me say right now that I have always admired Lance. I ride a little myself. Enough to appreciate what a brutal sport it can be. I suspected he doped as everyone in the sport did to compete at that level. And tonight, I will say I think he was brutally honest, and I admire him for that. I don’t think he knows yet why he was so defiant all these years. That’s ok by me. I don’t think most of us know how we are flawed let alone why we are flawed. We just are and we try hard not to be, at least most of us do.
Lance is just a man. He’s done some good in his life. He’s done plenty of wrong. He competed. He won. Those against whom he competed also doped. I don’t condone what he did. I have a really hard time understanding why he decided he needed to be so public in his defiance, but I also know that he won seven Tours and I didn’t win any. He’s cut from a different mold.
I didn’t expect to walk away from the interview feeling better about Lance, but I do. I am not sure he told the truth in response to every question tonight. Still, he was humble tonight and that is not a bad way to be, even if the humility comes very late.