Lance Armstrong rides back into the spotlight
Last week former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong was interviewed by Howard Stern on Stern's SiriusXM program. Armstrong had been largely out of the public spotlight but couldn't resist the opportunity to be interviewed by Howard Stern. Stern has widely been regarded as an excellent interviewer and the interview did not disappoint.
This interview covered everything from surviving cancer, the blood-doping scandal, Armstrong's trust in Oprah, and everything in between. Stern got incredibly personal with Armstrong as he asked about his love life, his thought process when the scandal was breaking, and how he was doing financially.
Let's dive into the SiriusXM interview:
Surviving Cancer: In the interview Lance revealed that he noticed he was having some health issues before his cancer diagnosis. He continued to decide to ignore the issues until he began to cough up blood. "I think most athletes play with pain, play through pain, make up excuses in their own mind for pain so I had a bunch of excuses."
Some of the symptoms Armstrong exhibited were blurry vision, headaches and coughing up blood. Lance thought most of the issues were attributed to riding a bike until the severe symptoms arose. Stern asked if Armstrong thought he was going to die. "I thought I was 50-50 [in regards to to surviving]," Armstrong said. He did offer a quote to people that are actively fighting Cancer. "I would tell anybody in that situation unless you know it's completely fatal, we're not numbers. We're not stats. Let's go find the best doctors, get multiple opinions. Let's surround ourselves with great people--family friends--and go find."
Blood Doping Scandal: Lance denied using performance-enhancing drugs numerous times. When he finally decided to come clean he became exposed to a whole new level of scrutiny. He came increasingly worried about how his kids would react to the news. Armstrong remembered what it was like to have the conversation with his kids "That's not a one-time conversation. The older kids were old enough to kind of live it with me. There was conversation and there was therapy." He talked about how much of a work-in-progress the journey was and stated that he is in a great place with his children today.
During the interview Armstrong plugged his podcast "Forward" numerous times. Saying that it is not only a name but a mindset that he has adopted. Lance was also asked if he was doing well financially. He said that he was doing okay, but missing some of the luxuries he previously was accustomed to.
Legal Trouble: When Lance Armstrong came forward and admitted to blood-doping he was presented with a legal firestorm. Most of Armstrong's lawsuits have come and gone and he has even said he settled many of them out of court. There is one last hurdle he must clear and that is the United State Justice Department. The DOJ is suing Armstrong because they are claiming damages they believe he brought to the United State Postal Service. The USPS were Armstrong's main sponsor during his historic Tour De France run. The DOJ is also pursing Armstrong's former teammate Floyd Landis as well.
Oprah: One of the interesting takeaways from the Howard Stern's interview was Lance's deep respect for Oprah Winfrey. Armstrong attributed his trust in Oprah as the reason she got the exclusive interview with him. Armstrong said he was concerned when reports surfaced that his titles were going to be stripped. He recalls a moment when he could sense that the lawsuits were going to start coming his way.
Terrible Breakup: As time passed, Armstrong admitted that he fell out of love with cycling. The sport that brought him so much pleasure had now caused him a tremendous amount of anguish. "For three or four years, I hated cycling...like with any kind of breakup, there are hard feelings." Armstrong tried various other sports and hobbies before finding his way back on a cycle. He told Howard that he is training with younger riders and "getting my ass kicked."
Moving "Forward": As previously mentioned, Armstrong hosts a podcast in which he interviews numerous people from different walks of life. He has had guests ranging from Ricky Williams to Neil Degrasse Tyson.
So what do you think about Lance Armstrong? Do you carry a grudge againest him or is all forgiven? Let me know on twitter @schudel_ralph