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Steve Magness on Lance Armstrong

Posted on January 17 2013

I just finished reading an fantastic article on Lance Armstrong that was written by my friend Steve Magness. Steve spent a few years as assistant coach to Alberto Salazar at the Nike facility in Oregon, and in the process had the opportunity to interact directly with Armstrong while he was in triathlon training (they were helping out with the run portion; Steve has since left Nike is now track and XC coach at the University of Houston). Steve’s article is remarkably candid and honest, and is very much worth a read – I particularly like this passage:

“This past fall the college cross country team I coach was preparing for a race in Austin, Texas. I got the word that Lance would be competing the same race. It briefly crossed my mind to take my athletes over to meet Lance, giving me bonus points for being the “cool” coach who knew someone insanely famous. Instead, in our pre race huddle, I simply told my team, “Lance Armstrong is in your race. Beat him. He cheated and took drugs and you guys are doing it the right way. Go beat someone who took EPO.”

It doesn’t matter how famous someone is or what success they achieved. For these college kids, it was about doing things the right way and this was an opportunity to teach that to them. The lesson is not to be mesmerized by anyone. At the end of the race, there were no pictures or autographs with Lance, but rather talk about beating him, kicking him down in the last 100 meters, and a surprising lack of Livestrong gear for the rest of the season.”

To read the full article, head over to

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