What to do with a Lance Armstrong photo?

boyandarmstrong

My moral dilemma of the afternoon is a prized photo that has followed me around for a number of years, shot by my AJC colleague Brant Sanderlin.

larmstrong

In the picture, a desperate 11-year-old boy named Samuel Douglas, wrapped in an American flag, urges on his hero Lance Armstrong during an uphill pull during a Rome time trial, part of the 2004 Tour de Georgia.

The photo sits in the office, next to a Sarah Palin movie bill. The question is, what to do with it? The young man and his passion were real. It is the cyclist who turned out to be fake.

On an opposite wall hangs an autographed photo of Levi Leipheimer, another cyclist, who has also confessed to engaging in doping as one of Armstrong’s wheelmen. The Los Angeles Times says Leipheimer, 38, has been suspended by his current team.

A bad day for people with heroes.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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124 comments Add your comment

Katherine Helms Cummings

October 11th, 2012
2:26 pm

Sometimes our heroes bring out the best in us. The challenge is to nurture what we find and make it stronger than the image we carry of the hero.

Patti Ghezzi

October 11th, 2012
2:34 pm

Of course, keep it! I remember that photo well. The focus is on the boy. Armstrong’s fall from grace just adds texture to the story.

ben

October 11th, 2012
2:35 pm

Keep it. He beat everyone fair and square because they were all cheating.

Tag

October 11th, 2012
2:41 pm

Sports heroes cheat, teachers cheat, politicians cheat, bankers cheat, judges cheat, children murder, even the priests molest children.
Maybe we need a Mormon to lead the country.

Fartavious

October 11th, 2012
2:42 pm

Swap it for a picture of Barry Bonds. Oh wait…

Steve

October 11th, 2012
2:42 pm

I say kill it with fire and the Sarah Palin movie bill.

Pat

October 11th, 2012
2:45 pm

Why is this still a story? How long has Lance been retired? Why didn’t they go after him this hard while he was still competing. This seems to be someone really dislikes Lance and it’s not really an issue of him cheating.

Gravy Train

October 11th, 2012
2:45 pm

Tag: You can keep him. We don’t need brainwashed magic underwear cultists in the White House.

Mitrebox

October 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

Hang it next to a smaller frame of an asterix.

MM

October 11th, 2012
2:46 pm

Hero worship is a risky thing to do. It says less about the “hero” and more about us wanting to see the world in a particular way.

Uncritical acceptance of anything is lazy and encourages fuzzy thinking. It’s how we individually and as a country have elected so many terrible leaders at every level of government and gotten into so many wasteful wars and much more. Hopefully Armstrong will be a lesson for the gullible and make us work harder to find the truth.

We must accept that often we will never know the truth of a situation or a person and if that makes us feel uncertain about what to think then welcome to something closer to reality.

Gravy Train

October 11th, 2012
2:47 pm

I agree with Patti, the picture is great because of the boy’s passion, not because of Lance.

oldfart

October 11th, 2012
2:47 pm

Let he who is without sin…

That being said, and I know that it is anachronistic of me, but I was taught that is no way to treat the flag.

Fartavious

October 11th, 2012
2:48 pm

Then swap if for a copy of Obama’s college transcripts. Oh crap!

Artie

October 11th, 2012
2:52 pm

All testimony-based “evidence”. With the exception of Hincapie, all the others are VERY suspect! Most randomly-tested athlete in the world (approximately 600 times) and NO positives.

North resident

October 11th, 2012
2:53 pm

Keep it. He beat everyone fair and square because they were all cheating.

Probably more true than you might think. Nonetheless, I understand your pain jgalloway. in 2005, I won a TREK trip to ride with Lance in Texas during his annual century ride there . I am an avid cycling fan. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I got an autographed jersey and a picture taken with Lance. Now I look at my jersey and my photo with Lance and just wonder “WTF?”

Teri

October 11th, 2012
2:57 pm

Location, location, location! Move Lance away from Sarah and send the picture to Sam, frame and all! Burn the Palin movie bill!

Scott K

October 11th, 2012
2:58 pm

Regardless of whether Armstrong did or did not “cheat,” the millions of dollars donated by him to aid cancer research is reason alone to admire the man.

Streaker

October 11th, 2012
2:58 pm

Keep it, wether he doped or not his Livestrong organization has raise over 325 million for caner over the years, focus on the positive……..

Ginger

October 11th, 2012
3:01 pm

“Sports heroes cheat, teachers cheat, politicians cheat, bankers cheat, judges cheat, children murder, even the priests molest children. Maybe we need a Mormon to lead the country.”

sarcasm font/Of course that’s the solution. Because everyone but Mormons cheat./sarcasm font

Van Jones

October 11th, 2012
3:01 pm

Artie, I’m with you. Floyd Landis? Tyler Hamilton? At some point it is just not financially feasable to continue the fight. But was he found guilty? No. Did he admit anything? No. Was he tested hundreds of times without a single positive? YES!!!

Uncle Sam

October 11th, 2012
3:02 pm

Why is that kid desecrating my flag like that?

Light

October 11th, 2012
3:02 pm

I like the photo and would not discard it. I don’t know what really happened because he says no and they say yes. But I what I do know from this pic is that Lance inspired hope and pride in the young lad and I think that’s what the pic represents. And that’s really the role of a hero whether they turn out to be legit or not. So, it boils down to your perspective in how you see the photo.

Circle R

October 11th, 2012
3:03 pm

Keep the photo, it is a great shot. If he doped, it was because everyone else did and he had to keep up…and won an unprecedented seven Tour De France titles (and never ONCE tested positive, BTW). And if he never doped (which I wish I could believe), he is even more awesome to have beaten all the cheaters!

Marc

October 11th, 2012
3:04 pm

How much do you want for it?
Who cares about the past of cycling. Let’s move on. Maybe USADA can get their obviously lousy testing procedures figured out. Lance is still the 7-time champion of Tour de France, especially considering the entire peloton was doping.

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:06 pm

A lot of my medical friends thought his cancer was probably related to his early doping shenanigans. People will give him a pass because of his charity work, but in most celebrity charities the percentage of the money that actually goes to the “cause” is pretty small. The “overhead” costs on those are sky high, mostly to pay the appearance fees for the celebrity themselves and their cronies who run the charity, and they are more about tax breaks than actually helping people. I guess some of the money does eventually trickle down, but a lot more of it would reach the intended target if people would just give to legitimate mainstream charities instead.

You don't say

October 11th, 2012
3:07 pm

Circle R

I don’t believe Barry Bonds or Roger Clemons ever tested “positive” either………

Do you believe either one ever “juiced”?

FCme

October 11th, 2012
3:10 pm

There has been no trial except in the court of public opinion. At the end of his races, he passed all the mandatory drug tests. But many years later, he must fight the “witnesses” who were dirty/given immunity/”retired” and also stand to gain from USADA financially from their own testimony. Does that sound fair?

Before you completely throw in the towel on Lance Armstrong, I urge you to go to http://ironmomma.com.
Scroll down and take a few minutes to read “My Position On Lance Armstrong”.
Maybe you will still have your hero.

cc

October 11th, 2012
3:10 pm

By all means, keep the photo. You might want to hang it next to your photo of Obama.

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:12 pm

He wasn’t just some poor schmo who felt he had to dope, he was a ringleader who got his whole team to do it so they could help him win. TDF is all about team, nobody wins it on their own. You guys are so caught up in celebrity worship that you can’t even call a cheater a cheater. I guess changing test scores in school is OK because it let the kids move on? The end justifies the means? Seven TDF titles revoked and a bunch of worthless diplomas for kids that cant read or do basic math…awesome accomplishments!

Andrew

October 11th, 2012
3:19 pm

Keep it. Cheating or not, he still won 7. He was just the best of the cheaters, which is still an accomplishment whether it be ethically right.

justduckie

October 11th, 2012
3:21 pm

Doping doesn’t guarantee athleticism. The guy still is a great athlete regardless, and beat cancer. If you don’t want the photo I’ll take it!

.Fla Fla Flunkey

October 11th, 2012
3:21 pm

You should give it to my buddy Jeremy. He has a ranging banger in his pants for Lance!

single white dove

October 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

Ill give your $20.00 for it.

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

By that logic, Bernie Madoff is a hero because a lot of people who worked for him and who he bought stuff from made a lot of money…so what if he cheated to get the money! Also he paid a lot if income tax, so the government benefited from his ponzi scheme. What about those who got cheated out of their money or their chance to win just one TDF? Some Croatian ex-biker is flipping burgers somewhere because his team couldn’t afford the technology to dope without getting caught, yet you toadies want to keep worshipping Lance.

Pompano

October 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

@You don’t say – great point. In the case of Bonds, MLB actually encouraged it with the whole “Chicks Love the Long Ball” campaign featuring McGwire & Sosa (both who were juicing). If my league is actively promoting a couple of guys that players at the time suspected of usage – what kind of signal does that send? Kinda like the NFL back in the 70’s shooting guys full of pain-killers to get them back on the field & then treating them like lepers when they became addicted.

MLB got the Home run king it deserved – cycling the Champion it deserved. I’d keep the picture.

brian

October 11th, 2012
3:23 pm

Ben is right. I would bet that almost the entire field of cyclists were using some sort of enhancer. Lance happened to be the best of them.

JIMBOB

October 11th, 2012
3:25 pm

How does anyone know that he cheated? If we’re going to believe these conspiracy theories then I guess we should also think that Obama’s a Muslim.

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:25 pm

And don’t forget that it was the tax-payer funded USPS that was funding him for all those years, so your tax money was buying dope for Lance…yeah, that’s the kind of hero we need. If the kid in the flag read tis blog, he woulod assume that doping was OK if that is what it takes to win, because you nut-jobs are all defending Lance Armstrong.

B

October 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

Keep it as a reminder.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

October 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

I find it incredible that the US Postal Service which has had cash flow problems even going back then spent the millions it did sponsoring his team. Where is the ROI on that? Oooooh, they sponsor Lance Armstrong so I will put a stamp on a handwritten letter instead of sending an email. And yes there was email way back then.

cc

October 11th, 2012
3:30 pm

” If we’re going to believe these conspiracy theories then I guess we should also think that Obama’s a Muslim.”

. . . but Obama IS a muslim!

Zeeb

October 11th, 2012
3:32 pm

_If Lance took performance enhancing drugs; so what? I’m familiar with the types of doping they claim he had in his system, and they wouln’t make a person win 7 tours de france. He still rode and sweated and bled for each title. It’s not like they turn you into superman, you know… In my opinion, the guy is no hero either way, but he’s a person I admire.
If he, didn’t do it, as he claims, more power to him. We all wish we had a person to look up to, and if he was able to achieve these amazing goals without doping, when others did… then he really is a superman.
On a separate note, nobody seems to allege that he doped in 2009 when he finished 3rd in the tour de france_ How many people can even FINISH a tour, and he finished 3rd at 38?
USADA is just looking for ways to make headlines and improve institutional funding.
Live Large Lance!

North resident

October 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

In the realm of sponsorships, a cycling team is relatively inexpensive. Much less so than sponsoring a single Tiger Woods, or holding a golf tourney, etc. The real question is, “why does USPS need to sponsor anyone/thing?” People are going to use their services, regardless.

JIMBOB

October 11th, 2012
3:34 pm

cc,

Good catch. If our big-lie mass media is going to lynch Lance, it should really be lynching Obama too.

The Obama stuff is no less believable or grounded in reality than the Lancephobic allegations.

Elliot Garcia

October 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

what Ben said!! LOL!

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

October 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

The real question is, “why does USPS need to sponsor anyone/thing?” People are going to use their services, regardless./

That was pretty much my point.

Elliot Garcia

October 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

Get some football heroes!!

Keeping it real

October 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

Artie,

You’re an idiot. Joyner never ever never tested positive and she confessed. Bottom line, Lance knew how to cheat the tests.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Jones

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

JIMBOB: How does anyone know Hitler ordered the Jews to be killed…Iran says that is just a kooky conspiracy theory also….what are you, some kind of idiot? 26 bikers say he did it, and he says he didn’t. Were you on the OJ jury by any chance?

Keeping it real

October 11th, 2012
3:40 pm

check that. I said joyner, meant Jones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Jones