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26 August 2012

Bad week for Armstrongs..

This had been a bad week for Armstrongs. Both Lance and Neil.
First, Neil Armstrong expired yesterday. He was 82. First man to walk on the moon. A man famous for his words "A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind". While in school, I used to hate him. I used to blame him for all that we had to study about the space, for example, about Yuri Gagarin, Valantina Tereshkova about that Russian dog (what's its name, the first dog in space), about the differences between Astronauts and Cosmonauts, about Sputnik, Apollo and all those stuff.
And Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins, for good measure..
Had it not been for Neil Armstrong, I would have been spared of all these boring stuff, I used to think.
It was Winston Churchill who famously said, "When I was sixteen, I used to be embarrassed as to how ignorant my parents were. But when I turned twenty one, I was amazed to see how much they have learned in the last five years". So was the case with me. As I grew up, and started seeing the big picture, I was amazed to see how, in a span of 10 years, America was able to put its first man in space. That put Neil Armstrong in a different perspective. Here was a man, symbolic of all that is good with America, all that is spectacular about this great country, which can deliver the impossible.
At least, it used to...
Then there is the other Armstrong, Lance....
Lance Armstrong has been a kind of hero to many in my generation. Won 7 Tour de France titles, successfully fought and won against 'Testicular Cancer' (Ouch !!), winner all the way.
They stripped him of all his Tour de France titles, all seven of them, amidst allegations that he used performance enhancing Steroids.
Lance fought hard against these accusation and finally gave up. He did not bother to contest these allegations.
He did not give up against cancer, he did not give up against his competitors in the world's toughest cycling Championship, he fought against all of that and won.
But in the end, he gave up against Bureaucracy...
But in my book. Lance, you are and will always be the 'Never say die' winner that you always were..
I salute both the Armstrongs...

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