I still remember watching Lance Armstrong win his seventh straight Tour de France. It was history, insane, almost unfathomable history, that was happening right in front of me. I got the chance to watch this man do something that’s never been done before. At the time, I thought he was the greatest human in history to ever mount a bicycle.
I’m not necessarily mad that he cheated, because apparently everyone was doping at the time. Hell, I’m not even angry with the deplorable way he handled the fallout despite the fact that it was litany of lies, bullying and scare tactics.
I’m angry because he stole something from all of us. He stole something from the world. When we see a great painting or listen to a spectacular song it stays with us. It is inextricably linked to our experience. Sometimes a book or play becomes so powerful it can radically alter our lives. We can see a man win an insane race seven times and be impacted by it. These performances, these feats of humanity become a part of us.
Lance Armstrong stole that part of humanity. His decision to lie, cheat and steal those victories took something away from all of us. He gave something to the incredible corpus of humanity, something I loved and believed in, and proceeded to take it away. That’s why I’m mad at him.