Lance Armstrong won his seventh straight Tour de France yesterday.
Seven straight years winning this event..that's impressive in any sport, any time, any where in my book.
But yet as I was listening to the radio talk shows yesterday and this morning, I was amazed at the numbers of people who were ready to line up and dismiss Armstrong's accomplishment and to claim the man is not an athlete. I heard one guy sum up why he doesn't think Lance is an athlete cause "all he does is ride a bicycle." The rest of his arguement was that if you went out and trained 7 days a week to ride a bicycle, anyone could do the same thing.
I just have to roll my eyes when I hear that. Now, I occasionally take a power cycling class or two and in that class was use resistance on a stationary bike to simulate hills. Key word here--simluate! The thing is, I have an immnese respect for Lance Armstrong. I took two classes last week of power cycling and I have to tell you after just 45 minutes to an hour of working--which included warm up and cool down, mind you--my muscles and body were a bit worn out. I can't imagine the work and dedication it must take so you can do that every single day for several straight hours. Also, in the class, I have direct control over the hills I'm climbing, so if I'm having an off day, I can dial it back a notch. Also, inside, no rain, heat, cold, snow, annoying fans who want to get in the way, etc. So, I have a profound respect for Armstrong and what he's accomplished athletically. The man has worked hard and is one of the great athletes not only of our time but maybe of all-time.
So, for anyone out there to dismiss Armstrong's accomplishments and his dominance in a sport as not worthy of note or praise because "he just rides a bicycle" is ludicrious. Take a step back and appreciate this moment because Armstrong is a once in a generation athlete--one who dominates his sports in a way that few, if any others have. He overcome health issues to become one of the greatest athletes of all time. So, please...don't dismiss him or disrespect him. But appreciate his place among the greats of all-time.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/25/2005 07:30:00 AM