Lance Armstrong is the star that lost its luster. The star that’s shine dimmed. The star stripped of all seven glorious Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong, however, is still a star. He is still the star who miraculously found strength where many saw death, the same man who rose from the nadirs of cancer to the zeniths of success. Most importantly of all, he is still the most influential and meaningful cyclist ever; the same one who raised over 500 million dollars to help the never-ending battle of cancer.
In the wake of the recent doping controversy, many claim that Lance Armstrong’s legacy has collapsed. Next time you hear this from a friend or co-worker, just ask them who won the Tour de France this past year. In fact, ask them who was even in the Tour de France. Before Lance, cycling was meaningless, boring, and uninteresting. Before Lance, there were no cyclist celebrities because no one cared. Armstrong changed the sport for Americans; he wasn’t just a famous cyclist, he was cycling. Even though Lance probably did dope, as the vast majority of cyclists do, he has still left the sport with his legacy intact. It may have taken a beating and been sprayed in dirt, but millions of Americans will still view him as the face of cycling. Millions of Americans will continue to wear the trademarked yellow “Livestrong” bracelets, and many will still look to Lance as a figure of bravery while facing long odds against cancer.