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Armstrong's psychology is riveting.
on 17 February 2014
This DVD is well made. It is detailed and full of excellent footage.
The production too is impressive. There are many clips with Armstrong
in front of the camera where his personality seems complex and unpleasant.
In essence, Lance is depicted as an aggressive, competitive, demanding and
a 'win at all costs' person. If he is to be believed it is at your own peril.
Many suggest that he lies often or is deluded into constructing complex webs
of nuanced opinions. Even at the end of the DVD Armstrong is satisfied that
in decades time, he will still be remembered for winning seven French tours.
Armstrong's plan to involve so many people worked. He intimidated many to
remain 'on message', to keep to the party line. Needless to say collaborators
were well rewarded. It required a man with a badge and a gun to crack the
nerve of cohorts. Armstrong, with less conscience and more to lose, has held
out on either proclaiming his innocence or guilty with extenuating circumstances.
His claim that his punishment is unfair is ludicrous. The arrogance and
opportunism is seemingly sociopathic and could anger even the most mild
mannered. He obviously has no idea as to the extent and ramifications of
In fact, the documentary says repeatedly that it was his comeback that
started his demise. He was always under suspicion and attracted negative
publicity but for years was never proven guilty. He involved medical
specialists, team riders, the media and cycling officials in a scheme that
made many a lot of money. This made me wonder repeatedly about other
sports where doping and gambling are suggested to exist. Does this mean
that the professional era of sport, has spawned endless teams and
individuals that look for loopholes to exploit financially? The idea that
a fair contest is increasingly unlikely does not auger well for sports fans.
A minor problem that I had with the DVD is, now a year old, most of the
facts, anecdotes and stories are well known through the media. This is no
fault of the documentary maker of course. It is merely that as news it
doesn't age well. This means if you have followed the Lance saga with
interest, the viewer won't learn anything new. If this is your first attempt
at finding out what the fallen legend is all about, then this is a highly
credible place to start.
That said, as a summary of the story, it stands up well on its own and ends
with irony. Armstrong having alleged to having amassed a fortune of $125 mill,
was in 2013 being sued for 80% of it by the US government and Floyd Landis.
After which, if he loses, he could still come out of the doping scheme very
wealthy. Which makes one wonder if crime still pays. Irrespective, sports
managers have a huge challenge ahead as Armstrong took cheating to a new level.
It seems that participating in this DVD proved to be an indulgence for Armstrong.
Another vain attempt at self promotion and to avoid being made accountable for
his actions. He is not a lovable rogue, far from it. He has harmed people and
pretends not to know it.
Watch this DVD, if nothing else, Armstrong's psychology is riveting.