TQE | That Queer Expatriate

Expatriate, not ex-patriot: I'm a progressive liberal and queer American in Berlin, Germany. My roots in include 18 years in Denver, 6 in Laramie, Wyoming, 6 in Bloomington, Indiana, and 6 in Weimar, Germany. Sense a pattern? Don't want to leave a comment on this blog? Email scintillatingme at gmail.com, username "elmadaeu"

Lance Armstrong, I never was impressed with him…

Bicycle

Lance Armstrong’s bicycle.

Today, while doing cardio at the gym, I noticed CNN announcing that Lance Armstrong has apparently told Oprah that he did use drugs.

It would be poetic if I could say that I watched this while spinning, but I was actually on the elliptical machine; spinning was accomplished Sunday and I don’t have the appetite to go for bike rides to nowhere more than once every five or six days.

Seeing this flash across the screen took me back to my Indiana days – with two distinct memories cropping up.

I’ll actually go with the second, first: due to reasons you’ll understand vaguely in a moment, I ended up reading one of Lance Armstrong’s books – I wish I could tell you which one, but whichever one it was, I remember getting to the end of the book and thinking to myself, “What an asshole.”

The Tour de France, and cycling in general, has never really been a sport that caught my attention or imagination. As a spectator sport goes, I suspect that it ranks a tiny notch above auto racing, golf, or paint drying watching excitement levels.

But back when I went to the fancy gym at Indiana University and I took spinning classes, one of the spin instructors, Ryan, was a huge cycling fan – the kind of guy who would follow Tour de France news as closely as he could from his base in Bloomington, Indiana.

He was also a huge Lance Armstrong fan whose enthusiasm and love of the man prompted me to read the book.

I bring this up because Lance Armstrong once came to Indianapolis to give a talk, and Ryan drove up there to see the talk. He was excited about it – and I asked him if he was going to get to meet Lance.

Ryan seemed genuinely disappointed to tell me that he wasn’t going to get to – Lance was in Indianapolis visiting cancer patients, and the seats up front were reserved for cancer patients and cancer survivors.

Ryan jokingly (I hope) said he wished that he’d had cancer.

I wonder what Ryan thinks of Lance now; my opinion hasn’t changed. Lance Armstrong is an asshole.

8 comments to Lance Armstrong, I never was impressed with him…

  • Reko

    I’ll try to remember to stay on your good side, Adamo.

  • My opinion hasn’t changed. I did watch the Tour de France when he was riding and I rooted for him, but I was fully aware that all the top cyclist were doping. I never bought in to the “No, Lance doesn’t dope, he wouldn’t do that to his health” argument. They all dope.

  • I did agree with one thing Lance Armstrong had to say – this problem is pervasive throughout cycling and sports in general. It’s what they do. I could have believed he was abusing something if for no other reason than it may have been available due to his health issues, but the other things were wrong.

    Among athletes I’m starting to think this subject is much like sex, everyone does it but it’s taboo to talk about it.

  • Lance Armstrong tried to make it taboo to talk about HIS doping, but you can’t stop the tide. I don’t care if he fucking found the cure for cancer, he was a lying son of a bitch who made life hell for any decent person – and there were many – who knew the truth and dared to tell it. Just because doping is pervasive in sports doesn’t excuse his abusive behaviour.

  • Reko – I assume, then, that you’ll be visiting Berlin this summer, right?

    Christina – eh… I don’t have any cycling favorites; I just know how I felt after reading his book. There wasn’t anything in the book (that I can recall) that made me explicitly think he did or did not use drugs, nor anything that explicitly caused me to say he was an asshole, it was just a general overall feeling. Can’t say that, in the years since leaving IU, I’ve ever paid much attention to the “sport” again.

    CQ – eh. I bet he engages in self-abuse.

    ian – Abusive behavior is what makes him an asshole; I just wish I could say why I thought he was an asshole after reading his book.