Lance Armstrong — Role Model for Success

by | Aug 6, 2004 | POLITICS

“I believe that the man who works the hardest is the man who deserves to win.” — Lance Armstrong“Perfect! No gifts.” That’s what Frenchman Hinault said to Lance Armstrong from atop the winner’s podium after Armstrong constructed a brilliant, record-setting fourth-straight mountain-stage win in the Tour de France. A couple of years ago, I read […]

“I believe that the man who works the hardest is the man who deserves to win.” — Lance Armstrong

“Perfect! No gifts.” That’s what Frenchman Hinault said to Lance Armstrong from atop the winner’s podium after Armstrong constructed a brilliant, record-setting fourth-straight mountain-stage win in the Tour de France.

A couple of years ago, I read with much enjoyment the account of Lance Armstrong’s victorious fight against cancer, and his subsequent climb to the pinnacle of the bicycle-racing world, in his book It’s Not About the Bike. Lance’s positive attitude, his take-charge approach, his refusal to accept defeat — his desire not only to live but to live victoriously — was impressive, motivating, educational and invaluable to me in how he proved, by the doing of it, how one can face such enormous obstacles and overcome such seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Over the past three weeks, as I’ve followed his quest to win an unprecedented sixth successive Tour de France title, the man has impressed and thrilled me many times over what I believed was possible.

His determination, focus and willingness to invest everything he has towards achieving his goals — both immediate and longer range — is truly remarkable and inspiring. He is an athlete worthy of Greek mythology, and in true American fashion, the foundation of his victories is — hard, hard work. He prepares more thoroughly and more meticulously than any of his competitors, paying attention to the smallest details.

He trains harder, with more focus, more thoroughly than any of his rivals, throughout the entire year to the end of achieving the next Tour de France victory. He has learned and honed the leadership skills necessary to attract, motivate and guide a team of dedicated fellow athletes to work in perfect synchronization, beyond the point of physical exhaustion, through conditions and situations unbearable to the great majority of human beings, employing strategies which leave their rivals so shredded as to be unable to launch their own counter offensives.

Incidentally, part of what I admire in Lance is his unusually open respect for, and enthusiastic embracing of, modern Western science and technology — a favorite theme of Quent Cordair Fine Art — for not only his health issues but his racing edge. In reply to a question of how his belief in God had helped him as a patient, he replied: “Everyone should believe in something, and I believed in surgery, chemotherapy and my doctors.” In bike racing, his team always employs the latest and greatest technology that money can buy, including testing in wind tunnels, the use of super-lightweight, aerodynamic equipment, the hi-tech monitoring of biological processes during training, and the latest in diet monitoring and control.

As I watched a breakaway of five athletes fighting heroically towards the finish of the Tour’s toughest stage — 126 miles of five brutally difficult mountain climbs — with only a kilometer left to the finish line, the German rider Kloden launched a final definitive sprint, pulling away from Lance and the remaining competitors, maintaining a solid lead at the final 100 meters. The seasoned broadcast announcers, measuring the insurmountable lead, declared Kloden the winner, as it would be impossible for anyone, even the great Lance Armstrong, to bridge such a distance, in so short a time, at the end of such a grueling race. Lance thought otherwise. He gathered himself and stunned everyone on the mountain, especially poor Kloden, pouring every cell of his mind and body into taking the man by the length of a bike wheel at the finish line. At this point in the race, with the large lead he’s already amassed, he didn’t need the points, he didn’t need the time. He did it — because he could, because that’s what he does; that’s what he is. And he thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ve watched the movie Troy. I’ve watched Lance Armstrong win stage after stage of this year’s Tour de France. No comparison. Thanks, Lance.

Here’s to you.

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Quent Cordair's portraiture, figuratives, landscapes and still lifes are collected by an international clientele of private and corporate buyers. The artist is entirely self-taught. His inspirations include Michelangelo, Bouguereau and Parrish. Cordair portraiture has been featured on the cover of the Atlantean Press Review. BB&T Corporation commissioned the artist in 1992 for a work which has been installed in the company's board room in Winston-Salem, NC. You can visit his website at http://www.cordair.com/

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