There is no more famous cancer survivor. And don't even bother trying to name another professional cyclist. Who among us didn't wear a yellow Livestrong wristband?
The man with the superhero all-American name showed us that you could beat cancer and not just survive, but thrive and be better than before. He made us care about a three-week bicycle race in a foreign country. Grunting up the mountains, flying through time trials and donning the yellow jersey, he denied, denied, denied ever doping while winning the Tour de France seven times.
Other elite cyclists denied their own guilt, too, until positive tests forced them to slink away in disgrace. Lance's defiant challenge: Work harder , want it more. And win. Believe. Achieve.
Suddenly, this year, seven years after his final Tour win, the veil of silence lifted. The truth came out in hundreds of investigative pages and sworn testimony from numerous former teammates.
He declined to fight. His titles were stripped, stricken from the record. Advertisers abandoned him. Isolated as a cheat and liar, he finally severed ties with the philanthropy that some had offered as his only defense. It's all over. Disbelieve.