Lance: Part 1

The Lance story is sad and unfortunate. He was considered the most remarkable story on the planet. Lance Armstrong is a seven-time winner of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. He became a sports icon for this accomplishment. The 30 for 30 film, “LANCE” focuses on the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong. A doping scandal destroyed his reputation. Stripping away all of his titles. 

When it comes to Lance, there are only a few things I know about him. His battle with cancer, his success in Cycling, and him admitting to using illegal substances. However, I’m learning more about his personal life and anything else that I didn’t know about him. 

The film got off to a crazy start when fans told Lance, “Fuck you. You fucking cheater!” It immediately grabbed my attention. Many fans will forever be mad at him for cheating at the Tour de France. Can’t say I blame them. Lance let a lot of people down. He will have to deal with this for the rest of his life.

Lance Armstrong began his life in Texas. One of the things that stood out to me from the first part of the documentary is the relationship between Lance and his stepfather, Terry.

Terry pushed Lance to the limit, using corporal punishment and the disciplinary style of a taskmaster to shape his future personality, for better or worse. Terry Armstrong made these statements in the film.

“Lance would not be the champion he is today without me, because I drove him,” Terry Armstrong said. “I drove him like an animal. That’s the only thing I feel bad about. Did I make him too much `win at all costs’?”

Terry never puts his arm about Lance Armstrong and told him that he loves him. Terry said that he should’ve done that. He knew that he was tough on him.

At 21 years old, Lance began his first professional season in Cycling. He started illegal doping too. By 1993, Lance won the championship, became very outspoken, and was just 22 years old. Cycling wasn’t much for Americans in the early 90s, but Lance changed all of that. Lance hated losing. It would make him extremely upset if he finished second place. 

In the film, I learned about the steroid drug, EPO; EPO stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and regulates the concentration of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the blood. Cyclists were using this, but at the same time, it scared a lot of athletes. By 1996, Lance looked much different physically and never complained about athletes doping. 

Before Lance Armstrong found out that he had cancer, he was experiencing pain in his testicles. It got serious when he started coughing out blood all over the place. He had Stage Four Cancer. Chances were slim for Lance. He battled cancer, and he beat it. After his recovery, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation. 

Lance Part 2 will air next Sunday night on ESPN.

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