Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fallen Heroes

While Jimmie Savile was never a hero to me, he was to many.   We know he did much to make a lot of people's lives better, he managed to help many youngsters achieve things they never thought possible, and raised funds to help others.   All that now seems to be forgotten as more and more of his other activities come to light.   I am slightly uncomfortable with some of what I am hearing, it seems clear that many people either knew, or suspected, about his hidden side but stayed quiet, the other thing that I hear, and recognise is that the culture of the time was different.   Certainly sexism in the work place was rampant, but physical sexual abuse was never acceptable, even though in many cases it seems to have happened and then been covered up.   I know that in the current climate this may not be a popular view, the media have caught the current of opinion and are carrying out a witch hunt, Savile's reputation and memory are to be changed from white to black, from hero to villain, yet all that good he did is still done, like most of us he was a combination of good and bad, it's just that his bad was much worse than most, but then his good was better than most of us as well.

On the other hand Lance Armstrong is a hero.   Sure it now seems clear that he used chemical help to accomplish at least some of his amazing achievements, but lets remember the state of the sport at the time, it is quite clear that all the major teams were operating in the same manner, and that the sports governing bodies condoned this by their lack of action.   As a professional sport the competitors effectively had to to cheat in order to compete, this was not the fault of the competitors or the coaches, but the governing bodies.   Lets remember that Lance Armstrong is not just a remarkable cyclist, not just a remarkable sports man, but a remarkable man.   His achievements as a man not just as a sports man are truly heroic, I think it will be a great shame, and the world will be diminished if he is to be consigned to the ranks of the cheats and failures.

I had hoped to find a link to a video clip of his cameo in "Dodgeball" but it appears that Fox has blocked them all, so this is part of his speech there, I think it pretty much sums the guy up.

"Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer, all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I’m sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?"
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