'SORRY' LANCE RIDES IN AS N.Y. SPOKES-MAN
or, "Please kill the witty a-hole that names these articles"
April 7, 2005 -- Welcome back, Lance!
After putting his wheel in his mouth and telling French reporters that Paris deserves to host the 2012 Olympics, six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will backpedal his way through Central Park today to prove he really loves New York.
Armstrong's latest ride call it the "Tour de Penance" is intended to show that he supports New York's bid to host the 2012 Summer Games.
The Texas-born cycling star has been trying to make amends for his faux pas ever since he told reporters in France that Paris "deserves" to host the Olympics causing an international furor in the process. Now the cycling phenom is planning to sweat out his miscue literally by riding the park with avid recreational cyclist Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff and a pack of kids in a city program for aspiring bicycle racers.
"Six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong to show his support for New York's Olympic Bid," roared a press release yesterday from NYC2012.
Doctoroff, the founder of the city's Olympic bid, was quick to open his arms to Armstrong. "He called me up and was extremely apologetic and told me that what he said was taken out of context," Doctoroff said. "He's truly an American hero." Armstrong and Doctoroff will be joined by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and kids from the city's Star Track cycling program. "I haven't been riding much this winter," Doctoroff admitted. "I'll do the best I can to keep up with him for a few yards."
Armstrong was vilified as a "weasel" and mocked in The Post for siding with France by saying, "To be honest, I think Paris deserves the games."
A day later, after causing a tempest in a velodrome, the cycling star reversed course and declared that his heart was with New York all the way. "If I were on the selection committee, I would be rolling for New York City," the repentant road racer claimed. Armstrong's comments came while the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission was in Paris, about a week after the panel visited New York.
New York, Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow are vying to host the 2012 games. The IOC will pick a winner during a July 6 vote in Singapore.
The six-mile loop around Central Park pales in comparison to the winding roads through the Pyrenees mountains, but Armstrong will likely find a better reception here than what he was used to in his early entries in the Tour de France. French fans at one time spat on Armstrong, and he received death threats before a 2004 time trial.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor, has cycled in New York before, including a 2002 bike-athon that raised $50,000 for research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Personally, I think it would be nice for NYC to host the olympics.
But if we're gonna be all spoiled about it...f*ck it, maybe we don't deserve a bid.
Why such a big deal over a man's words?
p.s. I did not see him in the park today. alas
It's nice that he did that ride though. For the keeids, ya know.