Lance Armstrong finally admitted to his lies during recent Oprah show. Some of it is reported and commented here, if you are interested.
I am more interested in ripple effect this confession will have. Whatever Lance is now, he was a hero to many – cancer victims, cyclists, sport aficionados, whatever. I cannot imagine how they feel now. I am afraid that some of them will shrug all the news and simply assume that you cannot be on top unless you cheat. Because this is one of the lessons Lance taught us – cheat, lie and steal, but do it well, and you will be a number one. If it wouldn’t be for some whistleblower, Lance would still be on top. And we would keep on guessing. Funny thing is, that Lance (despite the fact that he definitely does not deserve it) made himself a place in history. At least as a bad example. Not the first time – some managed to do this by burning libraries.
Secondly, what will be the ripple effect on all other heroes of today? Will we look at them with mistrust and doubt? Will we think that we are suckers taken again by some cheating bastard? Will we diminish, at least in our minds, accomplishments of honest men just because there are so many examples of unfair behaviour? Or shall we still believe in purity of character? Will you? I know I will, but I will look for my heroes near me, amongst people I know. At least I will have a chance to verify them myself.