Monday, October 13, 2008

Mission: Not necessarily impossible

The latest news is that Lance Armstrong, after his comeback in the Down Under Tour in January, will be riding in next year's Giro d'Italia, giving him a crucial test before his attempt to win an eighth Tour de France title.

"I'm so excited to be coming to the 2009 Giro. I raced a long time professionally and never did the Giro. It was one of my biggest regrets. I'm going to be able to erase that regret. Who knows, maybe with a good result."

Armstrong's comeback will focus attention upon his global campaign to fight cancer: a disease he survived before his seven straight victories in the Tour de France. That dimension of his mission, at least, will be surely accomplished. As for the rest: Does it matter? Yes, it does... but in ways that transcend everyday sport. Lance Armstrong has become a symbol, and the world is looking henceforth at the human being, in all his profundity, not merely at the way he pedals on the slopes. This change of outlook indicates—if it weren't already obvious—that we're in the presence of an extraordinary individual.

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