Although I would not classify myself as a sports fan, I would consider myself knowledgeable. I suppose the endless stream of ESPN playing within my home has educated me about several sports, particularly hockey, football, racing and baseball. Although I can't quote statistics or specific strategies, I am able to maintain a conversation and understand the game/match/race when it is on the television.
I heard that Tiger Woods has been named Athlete of the Decade. Although I am not a golf fan, I recognize the contribution he has made both to his sport and to pop culture. He has brought legions of new fans and has energized the base. For this he deserves respect.
I disagree with honoring him as Athlete of the Decade. My dissent has nothing to do with his extra-marital activities. He is not married to me, so I don't believe that his actions affect me in any way.
I understand that golf is considered more mainstream than cycling. This is perhaps the reasoning for naming Tiger Woods, not Lance Armstrong, as Athlete of the Decade. After all, Lance Armstrong has obviously been the most successful athlete within the past 10 years. Cycling is not respected, and Lance came in second place in Athlete of the Decade poll.
Those naysayers who mock cycling are ignorant about the physical components of this sport. These athletes ride their bikes over 100 miles every day for three weeks, with only two or three days off. The grueling course takes them up some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. After they struggled to ascend they must immediately descend, driving their machine at speeds in excess of 60 mph around hairpin turns and around schloogs (the term for drunk fans on the side of the course).
Lance Armstrong won the race 7 times. This is more than any other cyclist in history. If any one athlete demonstrated superior physical prowess, personal determination and a drive to succeed, it would have to be Lance Armstrong.
The fact that Lance dominated cycling after a devastating bout of cancer merely adds to his mystique. He became an inspiration to millions of cancer survivors. After all, his Tour victories came after he had his testicle amputated due to cancer.
None of the pollsters asked my opinion when determining the Athlete of the Decade. I disagree with their decision, but in the spirit of good sportsmanship I congratulate Tiger Woods. I just think that Lance should have won!
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.