|Giving LA his due in America||DCP|
Jul 31, 2001 5:05 AM
|There is a pretty insightful article on LA and his 2001 TdF win on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal today written by John Feinstein. Worth reading.|
|Walking on water||PAUL J.|
Jul 31, 2001 5:23 AM
|Alright he won. I'm already sick of hearing about this guy. I just heard that walking on water was part of his training routine.|
|Geez, it's only been two days...||128|
Jul 31, 2001 5:32 AM
|...even the race was longer than that.
How 'bout those Red Sox!
|Geez, it's only been two days...||TommyBoy|
Jul 31, 2001 7:14 AM
|How about those Cubs???
The World Series comes to Chicago... I'm knocking on wood right now!
|As a Red Sox fan I'll give you that, and good luck! I only hope||128|
Jul 31, 2001 7:33 AM
|that wood we're knockin' on ain't our own heads!
Red Sox World Champs! 1919
Let's see, the only sorrier great team team than the Red Sox..hmmmm
|and Jesus is still gettin' props! :)||128|
Jul 31, 2001 5:40 AM
|Can you post that pay-per-view article from the WSJ? or would that be unethical?|
Jul 31, 2001 6:22 AM
|I don't feel comfortable posting it, but the WSJ site allows me to e-mail it from the site. If you give me your e-mail address, I will send it. You can e-mail me at email@example.com.|
|At the risk of too many posts regarding this||128|
Jul 31, 2001 6:00 AM
|I found the WSJ here at the office (no one really reads it though ;))
and in an attempt to oppose Pauls opinion and poke good fun yah bud, I think the one sentence written in there just for you is "Few Americans understand the TdF."
But if you're European, then ok, you're right...;)
Jul 31, 2001 6:26 AM
A Real Hero
By John Feinstein. Mr. Feinstein's most recent book is "The Last Amateurs: Playing for Glory and Honor in Division I College Basketball" (Little Brown, 2000).
It may well be that the single most overused word among those of us who write about sports is "heroic." Almost any time a team rallies from a large deficit it is described as a "heroic comeback." Any athlete who returns from an injury has made a "heroic return." The runner-up for most overused word is "courageous." Golfers play "courageous shots" from trees and bunkers. Any second serve in tennis that is close to the line is equally "courageous."
All of which brings us to Lance Armstrong, who won his third consecutive Tour de France on Sunday. Perhaps never in history has an athlete actually been more heroic or courageous.
By now, most people are familiar with Mr. Armstrong's story: An up-and-coming cyclist, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996, at the age of 24. His disease was not caught early. It had spread to his lymph-nodes and his brain. Survival was deemed possible, nothing more. The thought of competing again, in what is arguably the most grueling event in sports, was far-fetched.
Mr. Armstrong not only survived to ride, but rode better than ever before. In a sport dominated by Europeans, in 1999 he became the second American (Greg LeMond was the first, in 1986) to win the race; he won again the next two years. He has talked willingly about his cancer: "What's important to me is thinking that somewhere, there's someone hooked up to a [chemotherapy] drip just like I was, who can say to themselves, 'he did it, I can do it too.' "
No doubt Mr. Armstrong is an inspiration to many cancer victims. But even those of us who have not been afflicted by cancer can be inspired. When he was sick, he never complained about the unfairness of it all. In an era when so many athletes moan about the burden of signing autographs, his attitude is a welcome relief.
As might be expected, his remarkable comeback has also inspired skepticism. Perhaps no sport in the world has been damaged more by the specter of drug-use than cycling. Three years ago, the Tour de France was so overrun with cyclists confessing to blood-doping it almost shut down. Since then testing has been greatly increased, but there are still many who believe that all it does is force riders to find more sophisticated ways to mask their drug use.
Mr. Armstrong has categorically denied drug use. He says his body has been through enough because of cancer to now put it at risk from drug use. He has come through clean every time he has been tested. At this moment, Mr. Armstrong is only guilty by association. Unless someone proves him truly guilty, we should all take his word and revel in his extraordinary accomplishments.
Few Americans understand the Tour de France. Almost every day during the three weeks over which the race is held, we pick up the newspaper and read a sentence that begins something like this: "Today's stage, which covered 134 miles ... " That's 20 stages over 22 days, averaging more than 100 miles a day. Sit back and imagine that for a moment. Try driving that far every day for three weeks.
And that doesn't take into account the mountains. Each year, the Tour's outcome is decided in the Alps and the Pyrenees during four or five days of torturous climbing. The first week or 10 days of the race are a prologue to the mountains. This year, Mr. Armstrong was in 23rd place in the early stages. Everyone knew it meant nothing. None of those in the lead would be able to stay with him in the mountains. Only Jan Ullrich, the 1997 champion, was given a chance.
And so it was, in the middle of the Alps, that Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Ullrich broke away from the pack. As they came around a difficult turn, Mr. Ullrich lost control of his bicycle, missed the turn and ended up in a shallow pond. Seeing what had happened, Mr. Armstr
|Hey, it's cut off! Can you get the rest?||9WorCP|
Jul 31, 2001 9:57 AM
Jul 31, 2001 1:40 PM
|And so it was, in the middle of the Alps, that Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Ullrich broke away from the pack. As they came around a difficult turn, Mr. Ullrich lost control of his bicycle, missed the turn and ended up in a shallow pond. Seeing what had happened, Mr. Armstrong slowed down to allow his opponent to recover and catch up. "It was the right thing to do," he said later.
Imagine an athlete, in the heat of what is perhaps the most difficult competition on earth, pausing to allow the only man who might deny him victory a fair chance. In an era where the mantra of sports is to win at all costs, where cheating is often considered the right thing to do, Mr. Armstrong's act was, well, heroic. Shortly after Mr. Ullrich had pulled back even, Mr. Armstrong put on a burst of speed and took control of the race for good.
Seven days later Mr. Armstrong rode into Paris to the cheers of thousands of Frenchmen. Mr. Armstrong speaks French and, by winning their national event three times, he has become a hero to the country, a much bigger star there than he is at home.
Perhaps that will change over time. But in a sense, it doesn't matter. Lance Armstrong doesn't really need to be a star. He is already a hero. A real hero.
|You da man!. (nm)||9WorCP|
Jul 31, 2001 4:17 PM