The One Thing I Hope Lance Armstrong Gets Right

Posted January 18, 2013 by jimhigley

Like many of you, I’ve watched the back-to-back Oprah interviews with Lance Armstrong. I was curious. Way more than curious. As a cancer survivor I felt a connection to this story. This was a little more personal. I’ve spent time in the Livestrong offices. I’ve had my own moments of rubbing elbows with Armstrong.

So I watched. And I got what I expected.

His comments and responses were predictably Lance.

There was one moment, however, that gave me satisfaction. Not satisfaction in a negative or vindictive way. Satisfaction that was rooted in a place of goodness. Satisfaction that said, “Man, maybe this guy gets one aspect of this.”

It was when he spoke of his children. The moment that topic was tethered out from Oprah’s lips, my father-empathy-hormones kicked in. I found myself cheering for Armstrong. I wanted him to get it right. I wanted some kind of satisfaction that no matter how low he may have fallen, that he still understood the implications of all of this on his children. I needed a signal, dad-to-dad, that he realized the seriousness of what his own kids are going through.

And I got it. Because I think he gets it.

Livestrong will survive and thrive. I personally know the team of people who lead it and have led it for many years. They are good, honorable people who are changing the face of cancer. Livestrong will be fine.

The millions and millions of cancer survivors and caregivers globally will also thrive because thrive is what we do. We will thrive in spite of Armstrong’s demise. And we will also owe much to the contributions of the foundation he has given us.

The cycling world will go forward as will the many brands who have been put through the marketing wringer.

But children are different. They are vulnerable. They’re fragile. And they will forever be woven into this story through no fault of their own.

They deserve more than anyone in this entire story.

And I hope, if nothing else, that someday Lance Armstrong has the gift of knowing that – in spite of all the mistakes he made – he did right by his own children.



  • Lisa Cunningham

    I hope his kids can learn from his mistakes. It’s important to be honest with your family and yourself.