Several weeks ago I read an article stating that Mike Tyson should be applauded for helping the occupants of a car crash. And they were right. We should applaud Mike Tyson.
We should also be asking, "Who is Mike Tyson?". He is one of a long list of individuals, who never really showed up. We got instead the synthetic version. Which is a shame really, as I suspect he would have been pretty damn good regardless...
Where are you? My heroes. Those I looked up to, praised amongst my peers, and sought to somehow be a reflection of. When I was younger.
I grew older. And you decided, one by one, to step into the light. The real light. Not of media flash bulbs, acclamation, and the frenzy of attention your worked so hard to gain. And control. And keep. At all costs.
You stepped then, out of the darkness, and you were seen by everyone for what you really are. Timid, weak, gutless, frail by your soul, and ultimately too afraid to lose as who you are – so winning as someone else. And in the process you lost the very essence of your existence. You lost who you are. You lost also, the respect of those who looked up to you and also those who you once seemingly defeated with ease.
I suppose we now all know how you did it. All of you. Who dared to lead others into the deceit you flourished in for so long. Your existence will now be nothing more than a shadow of the lie of who you once pretended to be. And the saddest thing of all is that no one will never know how good you really were. No. The saddest thing of all is that every champion is now assumed, by some, to be a drugs cheat. Your attempt to win over the world with the help of your chemist, has done nothing more than create doubt where there was once hope.
Was it worth it? Did you have to be someone else to be liked? Or did the reflection in the mirror simply one day not show you what 'winning’ meant to you?
Lance Armstrong, Mike Tyson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Johnson, Eddy Merckx, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Andre Agassi, Alex Rodriguez, Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, Bjarne Riis, Diego Maradona, Erik Zabel, Alexander Vinokourov, Floyd Landis, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Linford Christie, Christophe Moreau, Richard Virenque, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Tom Simpson, Sammy Sosa, Laurent Fignon, Sean Yates, Stephen Roche, Stuart O’Grady, Marco Pantani, Tyler Hamilton, David Millar, Jeremy Yates, Ivan Basso, Thomas Dekker, Christian Moreni, Bernhard Kohl, Tom Boonen, Óscar Sevilla, Riccardo Riccò, David Zabriskie, and Michael Rasmussen.