This week, former seven-time Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong finally admitted to the world what most of us had already concluded - he cheated.
Officially, the evidence had been stacked up for a while. Armstrong had already been stripped of his Tour de France titles.
Yet we needed to see him say it. Never mind that cheating in sport is sadly commonplace. When it comes to deception, Armstrong was in a gold-medal category all his own.
Why? Because of his vociferous denials stretching back over a decade. The way he mercilessly pursued those who accused him of cheating. The way he threw those closest to him under the bus to maintain the fallacy.
In his interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong didn't appear to feel especially bad about cheating or about the ruthless actions he deemed necessary to maintain the lie.
Tellingly, Armstrong didn't choose to come clean before any official sports organization, but instead chose to answer questions from TV's high priestess of the orchestrated confession.
While Armstrong's actions can only be described as sociopathic, we all played a part in this story. We wanted to believe that it was possible to overcome adversity, win honestly and still be a good guy underneath it all.
As Armstrong told Winfrey, "This story was so perfect for so long . . . and it wasn't true."
But for a long time we were prepared to put hero-worship ahead of the mounting evidence of his cheating.
That reflects on us and our desires, as much as it reflects on him.
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