The second part of the Oprah Winfrey interview with Lance Armstrong was televised this afternoon on the Discovery Channel.
I am relieved that this part of the story has concluded.
I thought Oprah Winfrey was outstanding in her role and I admired the way she dealt with some very significant personal issues for Lance Armstrong in a sensitive way. Richard Hines has taken a much different view of Oprah.
The conversation touched upon ‘invincibility’, ‘belief’, ‘trust’, ‘love’ and ‘truth’.
Hanging over this conversation was the reality of ‘digital remembering’. The “Just Layin’ Around” picture was discussed as an example of the on-going story … and the video record of the interview itself.
Greg Baum wrote today:
Great sportsmen and women ask us to take them on trust … But Armstrong is different. He did not just ask to be taken on trust, he demanded, loudly, menacingly, shrilly, repeatedly. He bullied others into preserving that trust. He hurt them, and says only now does he realise how much. He lied for that trust, in sworn testimony, on the winner’s podium at the Tour de France, in dozens of depositions.
My overwhelming feeling after the two interviews is that there are universal values each of us can uphold. The degree of fame or infamy does not change the commitment to these values. I see honesty and humility as keys to this commitment. I thought Nicole Cooke‘s retirement statement embodied these and offered a window on one person’s journey through elite cycling.
When I read this part of her statement:
I have had days where temptation to start onto the slippery slope was brought in front of me. [In one race] I was asked what “medicines” I would like to take to help me, and was reminded that the team had certain expectations of me during the race and I was not living up to them with my performance over the last couple of stages. I said I would do my best until I had to drop out of the race, but I was not taking anything.
I was reminded of the Robert Frost The Road Not Taken:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
I am hopeful that the primacy of ethical standards (rather than a biological passport) makes the Road Not Taken the main highway.
Frame Grab from Road to Paris