At this point, he has retired, and realistically, has nothing to gain or lose from this battle. Sure, some of his endorsements may drop, but he has more than enough money to provide comfortably for his family for the rest of his life, so it doesn't matter. As for the kids who idolize him, his legacy, the sport, blah blah blah, let's take an actual look at his legacy before we talk badly about the man...
- Raising nearly half a billion dollars for humanitarian work (including the funding of cancer survivorship support programs) through the Livestrong Foundation. It is the largest athletic charity in the history of humankind.
- Helping over 2.5 million cancer patients with free patient navigation services. Anyone who has dealt with the frustrations of the American healthcare system will tell you that this is utterly invaluable.
- Almost 100 million Livestrong wristbands are out in the world actively spreading awareness of cancer and, more importantly, the need to keep our heads high while we fight to find a cure.
- Inspiring untold millions of people and patients, potentially even a billion or more in total. There are people who exercise, have faith in the body's ability to heal, and can deal with the burden of cancer solely because this man exists.
And to think, regardless of what the outcome of this whole debacle is, none of these accomplishments will cease to exist. Indeed, they will actually all continue to perpetuate themselves...
Gee, if we consider this rationally, it would seem almost like Lance Armstrong's incredible, amazing, legendary legacy of humanitarian service over the past fifteen years is worth way more than seven pieces of metal he can hang up on his mantle. I would make the argument that being largely responsible for any one of the above list would make any mortal worthy of praise and respect, much less all of them.
To all those who are tempted by their cynical side to disparage and discredit all that Lance Armstrong has achieved because of a single piece of questionable sensationalized news, I say unto ye: is there truly naught you could be doing with thy time? There are millions, nay, billions in this world who would benefit from the energies you possess in anger, if only ye couldst but channel them into well-intentioned exertion.
Volunteer at your local shelter. Cook for your local food kitchen. Lend money to aspiring entrepreneurs through Kiva. Host a bake sale to raise money for your charity of choice. Help your child with his homework. Answer questions to help others on Quora. Every minute you spend wondering if one man doped or not and what it means is legitimately nothing more than a minute wasted.
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