On Saturday evening, 135 cyclists lined the red carpet at the Indy Colts Complex to greet Lance Armstrong and his guests for a fund raising dinner for the IU Cancer Research Center. Among the greeters were doctors, children and cancer survivors, all of whom cherished the thought of catching a glimpse of the illusion who has given hope to so many.
Amber from the IU Cancer Center wanted to create an Alpine ascent-like atmosphere for Lance and his guests, so she gave cow bells and flags to all the greeters. Guests were surprised and pleased as the greeters clanged and waved with wild enthusiasm akin to something like Lance might have experienced on one of his legendary ascents, to show their appreciation for the generous donations made by the $10,000 a table dinner attendees.
For nearly three hours the cyclists stood in the hot sun with hopes of a glimpse. After the first two hours, organizers realized dehydration was setting in and brought bottled water to the heat-weary greeters, but still, no sign of Lance.
Approaching the third hour, it was revealed he’d snuck in thru the back door. In and of itself, no big deal. But when the cyclists were told he would not come out to greet them, you could feel the air being let out of their fragile psyches. Understandably, Lance faces security issues none of us can imagine. But for him to neglect even a short thank you with a wave of acknowledgement to these people was just wrong.
Clearly disturbed by the invisible dis, Amber took matters into her own hands by inviting the cyclists inside the Colts complex to hear him speak so they’d at least have a chance to glimpse the illusion. Yet upon being told Lance would not acknowledge them, many chose to leave rather than go inside the building to hear him speak. No matter what he may have said, his message now rings hollow for those children and cancer survivors who’d hoped to receive a general wave or a smile of hope and acknowledgement. Sadly, it appears the illusion caters to the old line “that money talks and bullshit walks.” Take your money and run Lance, because you’re gonna need it when the illusion is completely stripped away.