Lance Armstrong – The Epitome Of Man

I know this is a sports blog but this man is much more than a sporting icon, a winner of sporting medals or a sporting hero to the many sports fans around the world.

He is what every man should aspire to be. Strong words. I think not.

Read on!

I grow up in the 80s, I developed into a man in the 90s, but I truly found who I was in the 21st Century, some people say I never grew up. But I learnt in my later years to admire and respect more than in my youthful exuberance.

Lance Armstrong is one of those I admire closely. I am a sports fanatic and I admire many sporting people, but he is on a short list of people I admire from the sporting world for non sporting achievements.

This list I know you are wanting to find out included; Sir Bobby of Robson, Alan Stubbs, Neil Harris, Paul Hunter (R.I.P.), do you start to realise my theme?

Yes the big C, or as I prefer to move away from such a horrible term, Daffy from the Alex Garland book, The Beach, uses a turn I prefer, harsher yes, but “parasites, there everywhere”.

I digress. It is a horrible disease and one many of us unfortunately have experienced close at hand.

In February 2004 I lost my Grandad, he had battled and beaten this disease before but it got the better of him and I truly experienced hurt and pain for the first time in my life.

With this in mind I researched more into this disease and the charity side of it, I wanted to donate and pay my respects in more than a normal paying my respects way, I wanted to help and I wanted to unite members of my immediate family.

I knew of Lance but I admit I am not a Cycling fan. I began to read more into him, his achievements and more despairingly his battles with a disease I was familiar with. My respect grew, tenfold.

Not only had this man won the Tour De France on 7 (seven) consecutive occasions, yes I said 7 (seven) consecutive occasions. Arguably the hardest endurance race in the world, he had also beaten testicular cancer which spread to his brain and lungs.

It required major surgery and this really could be the story of a Hollywood film star it is almost unbelievable. Lance made his recovery and then in 1997 he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation and through the banner of livestrong had sold approximately 55 million wristbands by 2005.

He is a hero and a true inspiration to anyone fighting this deadly disease, the company motto says it all:

 “unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything“.

I purchased said wristbands as a sign of respect on the one-year anniversary of my Grandads death and still wear it to this day. It allows me to feel I made a contribution.

As I write this years Tour De France has reached the dreaded mountain stages of the tour and this is Lance’s first tour race since retiring in 2005, astonishingly he sits in 3rd place overall, only 8 seconds behind the leader. Wow!!

His achievements to date are amazing to say the least, numerous sports awards and accolades but his foundation and the workings of it, are his greatest to date.

Though I do like the fact the French don’t like him oh and if this man is a drug cheat then let us all give up on sport. He should be seen as an inspirational to us all and a one in a generation sports man.

I often add a few links to my blog, I know I spoil you but below are four very important links, please take the time to click on them, read more and if you can then please donate:

Good Luck Lance and I truly hope you can pull off your 8th win.

Cheers for reading. I appreciate it.

Take it easy.

Gaffers

P.s. Congratulations to Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting for passing 11,000th test runs, scoring his 2,000th run against England and scoring his 38th test match hundred in the process.

Fingers crossed he doesn’t score anymore runs this summer!

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