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The Texan in the yellow jersey

Yes, yes, I know, his girlfriend is Sheryl Crowe, he is supported by John “doh” Kerry, which may suggest he is in need of ideological help, but can anyone doubt, after winning the Tour de France for 7 times in a row, that Lance Armstrong is one of the greatest athletes to have ever lived?

And he comes from Texas. If I was a Frenchman, that has to hurt.

19 comments to The Texan in the yellow jersey

  • Pete_London

    It seems he is a democrat, but the chemo which filled his brain would have had some side effects.

    Yes, especially in later years he concentrated only the Tour and yes, his team rode to protect him and set him up. However, given the demands of the race and the multitude of things which can go wrong, seven straight victories is astonishing and makes him the greatest athlete of any sport of any time in my opinion. His crushing of Jan Ullrich on the time trial up 21 hairpin bends to Alpe d’Huez in last year’s Tour is one of the great moments in sport. Incredible stuff.

  • HJHJ

    As we’re assessing his sporting prowess, his opinions on anything are not really a factor.

    Yes he’s up there with the very best. I’d put him alongside Pinsent who won 10 world championships (more than anyone else and 4 Olympic golds (having never failed to come first in any Olympic race including heats, semis and finals) and almost certainly had the greatest sustained power output of any human ever.

    Carl Lewis would also be in the frame.

    Any suggestions for female candidates. Elisabeta Lipa (5 Olympic gold medals), perhaps?

  • You might like this quote from Armstrong.

    Armstrong, a member of the President’s Cancer Panel since 2002, says “we have the smartest people in the world” working on cures, so his role is to get the funds to keep that research alive.

    “Funding is tough to come by these days,” he says. “The biggest downside to a war in Iraq is what you could do with that money. What does a war in Iraq cost a week? A billion? Maybe a billion a day? The budget for the National Cancer Institute is four billion. That has to change. It needs to become a priority again.

    “Polls say people are much more afraid of cancer than of a plane flying into their house or a bomb or any other form of terrorism. It is a priority for the American public.”

    Yep, he may be a Democrat.

  • schade

    UGGGHHH.
    who cares about his political views. Growing up in the US and racing with him on occassion I am overjoyed at having seen him do so well.

    Also, some people who have opposed the Iraqi war are neither Republican or Democrat, nor fit into the conventional model of consertvative or liberal.

  • madne0

    He could be a die-hard communist for all i know…the fact is, he is probably the best athlete alive today.

  • guy herbert

    From a British perspective I find it hard to sneer convincingly at someone merely for being a Democrat. The average Democrat (i.e. one outside fairly restricted fashionable “radical” circles) has more respect for individual freedom than a representative member of any of the leading British political parties.

  • Oh god no another sports hero running for office. I hope he resists the temptation and just continues doing his big endorsement contracts until he fades from public view. The sooner that happens the better.

  • ernest young

    AID,

    Doesn’t his resolute battle against a very severe form of disease, and his subsequent recovery and success make him a person whose character is way beyond superficial praise and criticism?

    I would rather have someone with his qualities than someone with the qualities with which most of our benighted politicos seem to be endowed. At the very least he actually earned his medals…

  • Johnathan

    Ernest, of course you are 100 pct correct. I have one of LA’s autobiographies, which I strongly recommend to anyone facing the horror of cancer and how to confront it.

  • Pete_London

    ernest young

    His overcoming cancer against the odds and achieving what he did on his bike (my admiration is clear in the first comment) has precisely nothing to do with how desirable a politician he would be. Rumour has it he’s none too keen on guns. Should Texan gun owners be happy to hand’em over because he has a load of yellow jerseys?

    Give me a lying shit who’ll leave me alone over an honest, earnest type who knows how I should live my life.

  • Marshall Clow

    Seen on a comment at Daily Pundit:

    “For the way Lance Armstrong has blazed unimpeded through France for years, he should be made an honorary German.”

  • Having been in the American cycling community for decades, and socially ostracised out of it a few years ago because my politics are not the proper shade of green, I can bet he is on the leftist side of politcs.

    Still dosn’t mean I don’t admire his discipline and accomplishments.

    Tom

  • ernest young

    Pete,

    Just can’t see beyond the narrow perspective of your political bigotry, can you?

    To assume that – in a democracy, a man with his strength of character would have nothing positive to add to the general consensus, is, to say the least, extraordinary. That you prefer to be saddled with ‘a lying shit’, explains much of the politics that exist in the UK, after all, the proles do get the leaders they deserve, don’t they?

    Has he said he is anti-gun, or is that just another rumour quoted to serve your point? Fom what I can find, he has never said anything re the environment, or any other ‘lefty’ issue.

    He has been positively supportive and encouraging of others who are suffering from cancer, and that does give him the right to tell other sufferers just how he overcome that disease, not from a desire to prosletyze on ‘green issues’, but from a genuine desire to help.

    Now that may seem strange to you, coming from a hypocritical, lying shit environment, but there are some folk who are prepared to take the advice from those ‘qualified to give’ such advice.

    Armstong’s advice on how to cope with cancer and adversity, has to be priceless, and of value to any community, the same may be said of his leadership expertise, which is more than can be said for the advice of lawyers and other sundry parasites that infest politics.

  • Pete_London

    You’ll have to be more convincing than that, ernest. Beating cancer, however much against the odds, is no indication of what an individual will do (or more to the point won’t do) once in office. He’s a man who hasn’t stated yet if he will enter politics and you’re already waving your pom poms. The word which springs to mind is credulous.

    Has he said he is anti-gun, or is that just another rumour quoted to serve your point?

    I have no idea if he’s actually said that but did read it on his Wikipedia entry, which is why I said “Rumour has it he’s none too keen on guns.” It’s a point in any case you didn’t address. Don’t bother now, this is dull, I’m gone.

  • Arty

    If I was a Frenchman, that has to hurt.

    True in so many ways.

  • ernest young

    Pete,

    Typical, so easily bored when confronted with even a mild criticism, or a different viewpoint. Run Pete, run!

  • Katie Bartleby

    Yep, he is indeed hated here in France. He is referred to as “l’americain” which says it all really. You can tell who is foreign on the street in Paris just by whether they wear those yellow bands. French people would never be caught dead in one.