Part two of Oprah’s Interview with Lance Armstrong starts tonight as the fallen cyclist talks about life after his deck of cards came rushing down.
Armstrong described how he felt immediately after news confirming his doping activities came out in public: disgraced, humbled and ashamed. This was especially true after his big sponsors severed all ties and associations with him. The humbling moment started when Nike rang him to tell him the news; in one day, all his sponsors did the same including Oakley, Trek and Anheuser-Busch. Gone are his sources of millions of dollars. However, he considers Livestrong’s call as the biggest blow when the board asked him to “step aside” (not to “step down”), an indication that the charity he helped put up no longer wants to be connected with him.
Almost everybody knows that Livestrong is equated to Armstrong, conversely, Armstrong’s triumph over his battle with testicular cancer is equated to Livestrong. People believed in him, proof of which is the sales of about 80 million yellow Livestrong bracelets (tied up with Nike). He considers the foundation as his 6th child and now it’s practically disowning him. He summed it up with this: “it hurt like hell”.
Armstrong agreed that his SCA deposition in 2005 is more or less a prophecy of what he would eventually lose: more than money, it’s the support of millions of fans. Back then, he described feeling “invincible”. He admited though that this feeling is still there but hopes to vanquish it as he commits to therapy. The process of rehabilitation includes apologizing to the people he hurt, including journalist David Walsh. Yes, he apologized to Walsh but I think it would take more to rectify the enormity of his bitter battle against the journalist who merely told the truth about him.
The fallen hero also talks about his controversial tweet after the USADA report came out, calling it “dumb” and a “mistake” despite doing so as an act of defiance. This tweet, which said “Back in Austin and just layin’ around…” made him loathsome to a lot of people. Is his admission to Oprah a way of getting back to the sport? Armstrong is realistic and doesn’t expect this to happen despite wanting to compete again. He finally conceded that he deserves the lifetime ban in competing in any sanctioned sport. His decision to come out has more to do with his family, particularly his ex-wife Kristin who told him to go ahead under the condition that he won’t use any of the banned substances again. Armstrong hailed his wife, who was well aware of her husband’s doping activities, for supporting his decision.
Armstrong attributed his confession as a means of making amends with his children, particularly his son Luke who constantly defended his father. Emotions overwhelmed him as he attempted to describe how he told Luke and his other children of his misdeeds. He claimed that he’s well aware how much his son trusted him and his final instruction was “don’t defend me anymore”. His son never wavered, telling him that his admission won’t change his love for his father. For this matter, Armstrong is thankful that Luke is more like Kristin than him.
Armstrong comprehends the costs of his doping activities: the toll on his family particularly on his mother’s side, and the lost income of about $75 million a day. Note that he talks about future income; what would he do to the large sum he earned while he was cheating his way to the big win?
The interview ends with Armstrong’s determined words of never losing his way again and ensuring that he doesn’t slip off and lose sight of making thinks right, including apologizing to the millions of people who supported him throughout his career. With this in mind, he wants to do things that he’s supposed to teach his children, particularly on the fact that the ultimate crime is betraying other people.
That’s our recap of Oprah’s Next Chapter Interview with Lance Armstrong today, 1/18/13. Thank you for reading our articles for this two-part special. Click HERE To read the recap for the first part of the interview.
Image credit: Oprah’s Next Chapter