Most of the people sporting colourful LiveStrong Bands on their wrists are blissfully unaware of the message these simple strips of plastics convey. Lance Armstrong, the man who fought against Testicular Cancer and yet lived to continue his journey as the Iconic Road-racing Cyclist and Triathlete, wasstripped off his laurels, including the seven prestigious Tour De France titles, after being suspected of using drugs to enhance his performance. Once the coin flipped, a man who was the face of strength after his overwhelming recovery from a terminal disease is now a black mark on the American mantle of greatest sports personalities. Even his wealthy sponsors have turned their back to him, watching in embarrassment as the legend’s name is slowly wiped off history’s wall of fame.
To be an icon is almost synonymous with having no personal life. Media hawks, the government, the critics, as well as the ardent fans wait for the moment their revered star stumbles.The minute there is a personal blemish on his or her perfect record, there is absolutely no scope for improvement. The press released the multitude of extra-marital affairs of the golfing giant Tiger Woods, bringing him down to his knees. The world condemned him for being a promiscuous playboy, a fact that should’ve been left to his bedroom instead of being plastered across newspapers and websites for weeks. A man known and well appreciated for his Golf was suddenly less of a star due to his personal weaknesses, which had absolutely nothing to do with his achievements in his sport.
Political leaders are not spared either. Mohandas Gandhi’s memory is now being defiled by constant comments on his personal activities. A man who claimed to lead a simple and austere life shocked the country when reports of his sexual experiments were revealed. As unnerving as that might have been, what people fail to understand is that Gandhi was known for his non-violent victory against colonial rule in India, not for whether or not he remained a chaste man. As scandalous and reproachful as his personal life might seem, there is no denying that he was an extraordinary man who played a major role in bringing India its much-delayedfreedom.
“We will move forward,” announced Lance Armstrong as he continues to claim his innocence, words that seem to echo the hopes of all those iconic men and women who were punished for having human flaws. The only thing left to see is whether the Plastic bands continue to Live-strong on wrists across the world.