He endured the flu, a crash, and the pressure of high expectations to win a record-tying fifth straight Tour de France. His average speed was the fastest in Tour history. Lance Armstrong is simply the fastest human on two wheels.
Even those of us who aren’t particularly interested in cycling marvel at Armstrong’s dominance. We tried to savor some of the exhilaration he felt when he stood on the winner’s platform, worn but victorious. The “Star Spangled Banner” played in tribute to this champion who so exemplifies the romantic spirit of America.
Armstrong even received a very special congratulatory phone call from the Postmaster General. Imagine the thrill. Who among us hasn’t dreamt of getting a call from the most important mailman of them all?
Actually, that’s not right at all. After all, the U.S. Postal Service exemplifies the bureaucratic sprit—sluggish, dreary, and frightened of competition. Which makes it all the more ironic that the postal service would us Armstrong as its spokesman. Have sponsor and spokesman ever epitomized such differing values?