My fellow world citizens, I am Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist. The recent headlines do not allow me to claim the fame. But, I think I have all the right to introduce myself as a famous cyclist whether I have my titles or not. Even my negative publicity is linked to cycling without which I am nothing. I am not here to claim I am innocent or confess. I just want to share a few of my realizations with you. I had great plans after retirement. I wanted to do so many things after I survived cancer, after I retired after I was free from my busy schedules. But, the after came so suddenly and unexpectedly, stripping me of all my dignity. I have all the time in the world now to do whatever I want and what I do with all of it – I ride my cycle.
I started to ride my cycle when I was two and continue it till now. I started to ride professionally at the age of 13. I was a swimmer before that. I got fascinated by the bike when I was 12. At that time my mother used to say “if you’re going to get anywhere, you’re going to have to do it yourself because no one is going to do it for you”. I had no idea where I should go but believed winning was the only thing necessary in life. I became a bully. I started to dope. My life was driven by an unquenchable thirst to win, to win like nobody else. I do not know who put that idea into me, my coach, my victories, my fans or my family. I saw everybody around me running for something elusive. I was happy when I won. But was I satisfied? No. I was ready to do anything to establish what others cannot.