The Armstrong Lie

Even though the Lance Armstrong cycling record: SEVEN Tour de France victories are the stuff of legend, many of these subsequent insights are not. Begun as a puff piece to tout the fame and exalt the integrity of his amazing life, this movie provides much of the missing pieces from his successes and shocking elements of his humiliating failures as the documentary makers realized Armstrong's secrets had been hidden in plain sight the whole time.

"Win at any cost." This is not only true in business, but also in today's cycling community. We can see how a newcomer evaluated the cycling world and realized he must compromise his beliefs. "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" is his rationale. We see how Armstrong leveled the playing field because of a well-established tradition of heavy drug use in the sport. "Everyone was doing it."

"People want the beautiful lie more than they want the ugly truth." Even while accusations were flying, the officials, the public and most of all, the cancer survivors, denied the possibility that he used drugs. We have to remember the investment the cycling organizations had in Armstrong's fame plus his earning potential for bicycles, shoes, sports wear, sports drinks, etc., etc., etc. No cancer survivor wanted to believe the rumors. Millions wore the iconic yellow wristband. Did you have one?

We evaluate the good and the bad:
  • Greatest hoax perpetrated on the sporting public - vs - Hundreds of millions of dollars raised for cancer research.
  • Alpha dog dominates team and sports - vs - Loving father who tries to protect his children.
  • Cancer survivor with adoring public - vs - Accusers who speculate cancer was caused by performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Adamant denial of drug use - vs - Full disclosure and admission of guilt.
This is Alex Gibney's fascinating documentary and believe me, I have NOT told you everything. This is a complicated tale, one in which you will switch sides many times. Bad guys have good attributes and good guys can be really bad. Racing team maneuvers are carefully strategized in a way I didn't expect, and all drugs aside, I learned that this is a grueling sport!

I checked this DVD out of the city library, so it is already available.
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Take a look:
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