Lance. Love him or hate him. Almost everyone has an opinion.
And no, I’m not referring to Lance Bass – formerly of the ’90’s band N’Sync. Duh – I’m talking about Lance Armstrong.
You know…Juan Pelota. Tour de France winner. Livestrong founder. Alleged cheater. Former husband to Sheryl Crow (Wow…I fit in two singer references in the first 50 words of this post).
It’s been really interesting to watch all the hoopla surrounding Armstrong’s (re)entrance into the sport of triathlon. Yes – at one time, he was an amazing junior triathlete. We all know about his post-cancer cycling exploits. We’ve all seen “The Look”. But it’s as if he’s the Second Coming or something. The savior for a sport that is lost on its own success. The shining beacon of stardom in a relatively low fidelity group of half-stars. The one guy on the planet that can propel a niche sport to the mainstream.
I’m not sure I buy it. Now, I’m not going to pretend that Armstrong isn’t one hell of a competitor or athlete. Besides – that would be a moot point. Anyone who can put up a 2:01:13 bike followed by a 1:15 half marathon in a 70.3 is a certifiable stud.
I’m just not going to hitch my wagon to the concept that our sport is nothing without him. I suspect that some of our sports “stars” would beg to differ as well. Crowie. Macca. Chrissie. Boom Boom. These are the stars of our sport.
Perhaps the “best of the best” aren’t household names to every Joe Sixpack in America or any other country around the world. Maybe that’s a good thing, though. Just look at the “notoriety” that comes attached to being a world famous athlete.
Nope. I do hope Lance is successful in triathlon – for whatever his personal reasons for competing are. But a savior he is not. Is he good for the sport? Maybe. He absolutely brings a spotlight to the sport which I’m not sure we needed.