Tyler Hamilton 60 Minutes Interview
What can I possibly say about Lance Armstrong that hasn’t been said before. Between 1999 and 2005 I was glued to the television watching him make history. I loved his domination and his celebrity profile. He was the one who motivated me to switch from mountain bike racing to road racing. Without Lance there would have never been the momentum in North America to fuel my enthusiasm for road cycling which has given me so many incredible experiences in my life.
You might say that my life would be the same without Lance’s influence, and that might be true. I am certain that he played a big part in it however. The only reason the Tour de France was televised in North America was because of Lance. Seeing Lance win his seven tours was riveting. Every day the TdF captivated me like no other sport and I rode my bike with more passion than I’ve ever done anything in my entire life.
Lance has also penetrated my life much more deeply than cycling. I’ve donated to the Livestrong charity and my Mother was inspired by the book “It’s Not About The Bike” when she was battling cancer. She is now passed on and I need to think long and hard about how I’d feel if this all comes out as being a big lie. This touches a very personal nerve with me. Does it really matter? Does the end justify the means? Looking backwards isn’t going to change anything, but looking forwards, I don’t want it to continue if it’s a fraud.
I’m not stupid. I know how cycling worked in the 90’s and early 2000’s. It would be naive not to question the legitimacy of Lance’s performances. However, I’m not here to judge Lance based on circumstantial evidence and don’t want to put him on “trial by blog”. That’s the job of the US Federal Court.
Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see how history remembers Lance. I can’t see Lances Tour victories ever being taken away and in a couple generations people will probably not even recall that this went on. As they say, the (seven time) victor writes the history books.
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