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Armstrong ready for his comeback

In the public eye, this was a precipitous fall from grace for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Oprah's two-night interview, while never digging deeper than what was already known, brought forth a new understanding of the man who once possessed seven yellow jerseys.

Personally, I admire the man now more than ever. Admission of guilt, wrongdoing and high-handed behaviour in a forum of millions took gumption, strength and damn big balls. The underlying reason for the interview, noticeable from his emotions, was for his children, and for me made my admiration immediately soar. The realisation that his mammoth ego created this monster, which in retrospect was not pleasing for him, was bereft of all pretense and showmanship. This is the true Lance Armstrong. There was nowhere and nothing to spin. The truth indeed set him free.

Armstrong is facing his demons, his own self and the millions who saw this epic tale unravelling. Like everyone else on this planet, he is and we all are "works-in-progress", riddled with overbearing egos, irreverent behaviour and personality imperfections. None can claim perfection.

Today, I believe the value of the Lance Armstrong brand has hit the black line. He hit rock bottom, and his very public admission propelled him out of the pit.

Armstrong conquered cancer; he is a survivor who raised millions of dollars to help others beat the disease which he beat. This was never a lie and this is his redemption. I hope the sponsors who rightfully retreated in revulsion of the doping scandal can see the positive side of this drama and pump their dollars into cancer research.

I would like to see Armstrong race again, compete in triathlons and climb his way back into clean sports. He has before him a unique opportunity and, more so, the fortitude to become cycling's Renaissance man.

Janine Aqui

via e-mail

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