Lance Armstrong Is A Jerk For Many Reasons, But Ignoring Daughter Isn’t One Of Them

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lance armstrong daughterOnce upon a time, Lance Armstrong earned a loyal fan base for his superhuman athletic powers. He famously overcame cancer and devoted his time – and fame – to fighting the disease. But somewhere along the way, he also earned a reputation as being a jerk. In fact, “cocky” and “sexist” are two words often thrown around when describing Lance Armstrong (he’s been accused of everything from illegal performance-enhancing drug use to breaking off his engagement to a cancer-stricken Sheryl Crow at a time when she needed him most). The rumors may or may not be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that the one-time hero has a pretty lousy reputation these days.

That probably explains why Armstrong has been getting so much flack for blowing off his 10-year-old daughter earlier this week. Armstrong – a seven-time Tour de France champion – finished in seventh in the Memorial Hermann 70.3 Ironman triathalon. As he crossed the finish line, he was visibly upset and exhausted. At that precise moment, Armstrong’s daughter tries to give him a celebratory medal. “Dad! Daaaaaaad!” she screams after him as he walks right past her.

A video of the scene was quickly posted to YouTube – you can view it here – and many people are now calling Armstrong a terrible father. (For the record, Armstrong is dad to twin girls Isabelle and Grace, 10, and son Luke, 12, with ex-wife Kristin Richard, as well as son Maxwell, 2, and daughter Olivia, 1, with girlfriend Anna Hansen.) They’re saying he’s despicable for blatantly ignoring his daughter like that and saying there’s no justification for acting that way.

I of course clicked on right away to watch the video and was shocked by all of the criticism. Someone needs to give this guy a break! To me, he simply looks like someone who just completed a very serious and very draining triathalon. He seems to be in a zone (understandably), and I don’t think it’s a big deal to take a moment to catch your breath and cool down before jumping right into “dad” mode.

Do I feel sorry for this little girl? Sure. She probably didn’t realize she was being annoying (because, really, it’s annoying to hound someone after they’ve completed a triathalon). If anything, she was being sweet and trying to show her dad that she’s proud. But I also don’t think Armstrong did anything wrong whatsoever. People need to get a grip!

What do you think? Did Armstrong ditch his daughter? Or was he simply cooling down post-race?


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