Now since Sunday evening the triathlon community has exploded into a frenzy of joy, celebration, anger, disbelief, excitement you name it, it was felt about the sport of triathlon. Why? Because Lance Armstrong yet again defied almost everyone’s expectation at Ironman Panama 70.3.
Having listened to many debates, seen 100’s of tweets, status updates on Lance and his explotion onto the tri seen. My inbox has also increased in size since Sunday.
So here I want to quickly summarise my points of Lance Armstrong and his performance on Sunday.
– Firstly knowone can deny the man has talent. To be able to swim as quick as he did, ride the way he rode and run away from some of the Sport’s greatest names is – TALENT. You ask any professional athlete just how hard they have to train to be at that level, their reply will often astound you. Lance, being a human, will also have to train similar quantities and intensity levels.
– To swim that level takes years and years of dedication, commitment and patience. It simply does not happen over night. There is no question Lance has always maintained his swimming ability, you simply can not buy a swim performance of the kind he produced on Sunday. Being a 7 x Tour De France winner and still finding time to swim to a high level – Respect.
– Accusing the unproven is a dangerous game. Jodie Swallow quite rightfully pointed out this morning on Twitter, Torbjørn Sindballe’s recent piece on ‘Can we welcome Lance to tri?’ was, no doubt, an excellent read, powerful. However quoting Lance’s previous phenomenal performances “…most likely years of PED” takes the spotlight off his and others performance on Sunday. It also hides the fact swim, bike and running that fast takes hard work, commitment and dedication. Lance is no doubt putting the work in, he respects our sport so I think we, like all other athletes should give him the respect he deserves.
– The question about PED’s will surround Lance for the rest of his life, he knows this, we know this. Lance, to my knowledge, is the most tested person in the history of sport. Still continously tested. Just because he was not tested at Panama does not mean he won’t be tested in all of his other WTC events. Until proven guilty of PED’s we are all wrong to accuse him of being guilty. Of course all entitled to our own opinion, However I think there are other more positive topics to take away from Lance’s performance at Panama other than PED’s.
– Lance’s performance on Sunday unquestionably had all of us on the edge of our seats. This has to be seen as a positive? He shocked us all, and now he has, people are very quick to shoot him down. Lance, like always created a special moment, like he did so many times in the Tour De France. This will, for sure not be the last time. Can’t we embrace the fact, one of the worlds greatest sporting persons ever is now, slogging his guts out and taking on a new chapter in his sporting life.
– He has brought the media storm we all expected. How can we deal with it? Accept he is here. Embrace the fact that the global recognition of triathlon will increase. Accept that triathlon now has another super fast racer.
– He is a human being. He works hard, he puts in a tremendous amount of time, knowledge and expertise into making his quest for Hawaii valid. We would be wrong to take this away from him.
Above are simply my own personal views. Over the past days I have had many questions, emails, texts on the whole Lance/Panama situation. This is my way of answering and expressing my thoughts.
Yes we can and should accept Lance into tri, either way he is here.
Enjoy your Valentines day, now time for a 1 hour 25 minutes run 🙂