He made mistakes– big, grave mistakes. Many people were hurt severely, and plenty of legal business remains. Now after part two of his Oprah interview, I do believe Lance Armstrong is sorry. I also continue to believe this cocky, arrogant survivor deserves to earn gradual forgiveness over time, based on his actions from here forward to repair some of the damage within his capabilities. His first steps have begun.
It’s certainly no surprise that far more bad than good has been said about the now-banned professional cyclist in the past 24 hours. Various talking heads– myself excluded– seem to be taking the easy road by belittling his interview, writing off his explanations as somehow not good enough. But then, how could they ever be?
Lance has an ego no doubt, and he’s holding onto it wherever he can. This is to be expected. Then when it comes to his children, the ego falls and emotion takes charge. Once again, Lance is human. Nevertheless, his interview is neither surreal nor jaw-dropping, and unlike Oprah, I was not mesmerized. He’s doing what he can today, forced into it as he might be, mindful of the deep hole he dug for himself– and I am listening. Still, it appears nothing he says– no way of phrasing it or spelling it out– will ever be good enough for his critics and his enemies. He remains in a no-win situation of his own making.
Lance knows this is a tough time, though understandably not the most difficult he’s lived through next to his advanced cancer diagnosis. He knows many if not most people will never believe him now– that it’s too late– that he’s made his own bed. Would he like to compete again? Of course he would! I could have answered that before he did. Will he? It’s unlikely at this point, though we’ll see what transpires.
Remorse will prove itself and forgiveness will be earned– so at least I can hope. Mistakes were made, lies were perpetuated, lives were greatly affected– and today, the past is just that. Like it or not, the doped-up, lying, seven-time Tour de France champion-turned-disgrace has now– at last– taken his first steps on his new road to some form of redemption. From here, we– like he– must only look ahead.