I don’t follow the world of competitive bicycle racing. I knew who Lance Armstrong was, mostly based on photos of him in entertainment magazines — hanging with Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal or stepping out with Sheryl Crow.
But other than that? I probably heard his name in passing as a Tour de France winner and went about my merry way. I didn’t care much about his career, mainly because I just never followed it.
So when he made headlines recently about using performance-enhancing drugs and being stripped of his Tour de France titles, I really didn’t give it that much thought. Just another rich person doing something stupid, I thought.
When friends asked if I was going to watch Oprah Winfrey’s interview with him last week, my only thought was, yeah, I should probably watch it so I can write about it.
So here we go. Five things I learned watching the Oprah-Lance Armstrong interview:
1. You can do a lot of drugs and still look pretty good. Armstrong doesn’t look like a drug addict, so I guess doping drugs are way different than heroin or cocaine. Then again, if we’re to believe what he says, he hasn’t done them in a while.
2. People in competitive sports do blood transfusions?! I had no idea. That’s crazy-intense. That’s … stupid. Here’s more about EPO or Erythropoietin, a glycoprotein hormone that controls red blood cell production.
3. Oprah was a good choice to do the interview. She has this ability to connect with people, even if they do really dumb things. She also looks great in light blue, although the detail at the bust on that dress made me think of those bras that snap in the front. Too distracting, Oprah.
4. Armstrong has some awesome kids. Even though I despise all the deception, I felt for the guy while he teared up talking about his kids, and how his son said he still loved his dad. I hope that continues into adulthood, as the kids realize the depth of Armstrong’s lies. They didn’t sign on for this, and not only was it thoughtless of him to put his peers in this position, it was REALLY thoughtless to put his kids in this position. They’ll probably have to deal with it, one way or another, the rest of their lives.
5. LiveStrong is a good organization. I hope it can distance itself from the black cloud of Armstrong and continue helping people with cancer in a variety of life-saving ways.
Ok, your turn. What did YOU learn from the Oprah-Lance Armstrong interview?