From cancer survivor to seven-time Tour de France champion to disgraced doper, Lance Armstrong’s arc has been well chronicled in countless articles, a few books and a handful of films. The brash Texan has also been interviewed plenty, which just may beg the question: Does Armstrong have anything left to say?
Turns out the answer is yes. During a 113-minute interview on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which streamed live yesterday, Armstrong dove deep into just why he appeared on Oprah and admitted to doping, discussed what it’s like to be Lance in the era of social media, how he came clean to his friends and family, and about the folks whose lives he tried to ruin.
The podcast just might be the best portrait of Lance Armstrong yet. It’s certainly the most up to date.
The pair jumped right into the muck from the get-go, Armstrong discussing the perils of social media and the omnipresent trolling he deals with. Armstrong posts about a fun footrace? Someone asks, “As fun as running away from drug tests?” Armstrong posts about putting up the Christmas tree? Another asks, “Is the tree juiced?”
“You definitely deserved some of that, there’s no way around that,” said the bald and buff Rogan, framed by Elvis mug shots and Jimi Hendrix photos, just 80 seconds into the interview.
Armstrong responded with an almost submissive, “Yes, of course,” like it’s a forgone conclusion, before launching into a bit of the history of doping and cheating in cycling. He called EPO the perfect drug for cycling and detailed how he and his teammates got into it, using military language.
“We fought the way the war was being fought,” said Armstrong.
However, Armstrong now sees that his behavior at the time toward family and former teammates poisoned him, too. “Lack of respect for others is the thing that totally fu-ked me,” he admitted.
“I’ve tried to make amends with all those people,” Armstrong continued. “I’ve traveled the world, I’ve sat with them, I’ve looked them in the eyes and said, ‘What I did was totally unacceptable and I’m sorry.'”
And, believe it or not, he sounded contrite.
Rogan describes Armstrong perfectly, as a “legend with a caveat.”
If you’ve been following the Lance Armstrong story, this is definitely worth a listen. Armstrong is more self-reflective than he’s ever been. Sure, he still has a smidge of “Mea culpa … but … .” However, there’s more “me” in mea culpa than ever before.
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