25 January 2013

I don't need a hero

Don't tell me who to admire

If social media and exposure has done anything in the past twenty years - it has removed our naivety to human failings. Nobody is perfect. Admiration emerges from the simplest places and nobody should be telling us who to consider a hero. Those most deserved of admiration are seldom those in the spotlight.

Months ago I had a lessons of life conversation with my 17-year old nephew Kevin. We talked about how being a good person should never be granted simply by public image. That there are plenty of people contributing daily who never receive fame or attention. That those without good grades and sports achievement should never be seen as lesser or bad people. Being a good person is separate from achievement. Kevin is blessed with smarts and amazing athletic ability (and a scholarship to Stanford next year), but an incident that happened to his classmates at school last year prompted our conversation about the need to cultivate integrity and honesty separate from attention given by others.

Poor Lance Armstrong never learned that lesson (and his Mother knew it long ago). I was disgusted this week when I read an article published at Bicycling.com stating that our new hero should be Greg Lemond (dribble). What? Out with the old, in with the old? I don't want Greg Lemond as my hero. I don't need a new hero. Offering admiration and respect is not something I want dictated, and am now more than wary of giving freely to public figures.

I am fascinated by the study of human behavior. The sport of cycling has given much to feed that interest of late, juxtaposed against the fact that bike racing continues, as if nothing ever happened, at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia and at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Yep the teams are back to racing and the 2013 racing season has begun anew. 

Back on US soil, next in line for an interview is Travis Tygart, who will share his side of the USADA story this Sunday on 60 minutes. Sure I am tired of Lance Armstrong (really tired) but I am not so tired that I would miss out on hearing Tygart's response to Lance's confession.

Travis Tygart on 60 Minutes on CBS news, Sunday, January 27, 2013. 

Achievement does not equate to integrity. Sorry, Lance confessed and Betsy is still rightly miffed at him and others (I almost expected Oprah to contact Betsy to discuss the art of forgiveness). At least we had the humor of George Carlin and Bike Snob: The Power of O to laugh over this past week. 

Let's move on, but please - no one ask Mark Cavendish about Lance - he fears Armstrong has tainted his sport forever and he is mad. I fear Armstrong has tainted the idea of heroes forever. I'm not mad, but I have a strong dislike of the color yellow. That is why the Tour Down Under is so cool - NO yellow jersey!

The Leader is in Orange!  Thomas Gerraint (SKY) in the Santos Tour Down Under Leaders Jersey.  
Photo from Team Sky Website News
I also liked Bradley Wiggins nun too emotional remarks made today:

Watch some bike racing - visit Steephill.TV Tour Down Under 2013 Live Dashboard for all the links, rosters, photos, and results from racing in Australia (finishes this weekend).

Current standings Tour Down Under (Australia):
General Classification after Stage 4
GBR  1  THOMAS, Geraint (SKY PROCYCLING)                          12:59:09
ESP  3  MORENO BAZAN, Javier (MOVISTAR TEAM)                   +  6
BEL  4  HERMANS, Ben (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)                       +  8

Current standings Tour de San Luis (Argentina):
General Classification after Stage 4
Pto  Dor  Nombre                                 Nac  Equipo                                        hh:mm:ss
 ~~~  ~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ~~~  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~~
   1º   3    KWIATKOWSKI, Michal     POL  OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK S 12:30:37
   2º  86   VAN GARDEREN, Tejay     USA  BMC RACING TEAM                  23
   3º  74   V.DEN BROECK, Jurgen     BEL  LOTTO BELISOL                          42
   4º 206  DINIZ, Alex                          BRA  FUNVIC BRASILINVEST           45
   5º  71   DE CLERCQ, Bart                BEL  LOTTO BELISOL                         54
   6º  21   CONTADOR, Alberto          ESP  TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF                01:10
   7º  11   DIAZ, Ricardo                      ARG  SAN LUIS SOMOS TODOS         01:12
   8º  95   ULISSI, Diego                      ITA  LAMPRE MERIDA                         01:12
   9º   2    CHAVANEL, Sylvain           FRA  OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK S      01:24
  10º  63  HERRADA, Jesus                 ESP  MOVISTAR TEAM                        01:24

Need a pick me up after the week? The well-grounded Ted King believes "...that the newest generation of riders is different." Read The Best-Kept Secret, then please follow his own personal blog (I am Ted King) where his unique writing style and humor shines through. 

I like Ted, Ted is my new hero. 
Well that didn't take long. 
The last time I saw my hero
Ted King at Cross Vegas, Las Vegas, September 2012. Photo by Pedal Dancer