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Open AccessArticle

Redemption of ‘Fallen’ Hero-Athletes: Lance Armstrong, Isaiah, and Doing Good while Being Bad

Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Religions 2019, 10(8), 486;
Received: 15 July 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport, Spirituality, and Religion: New Intersections)
Lance Armstrong’s achievements in cycling will forever be overshadowed by his admittance of using unethical performance enhancing means to win. However, Armstrong’s positive social impact of raising awareness, hundreds of millions of dollars, and support for the cancer community are undeniably noteworthy. Clearly, Armstrong’s hero-savior athlete depiction in the media prior to his ‘fall’ was related to the social ‘good’ he was equally known for. This good stands in stark contrast to his demonization since. This dichotomy of Armstrong’s profiling offers a unique opportunity to consider how his rise and fall reflect biblical themes of a sport celebrity. This paper explores the theme of redemption specifically presented in the book of Isaiah, as I explore Armstrong’s media rendering as a fallen hero-athlete following his public acknowledgement of cheating. This manuscript provides a contextual comparison of Armstrong’s story to the redemption of exiled Jews as detailed in Isaiah. Throughout the paper, I present how Armstrong has received a more profound, though less obvious or common redemption through his lifetime ban from sport. Ultimately, this article provides an analysis of a contemporary hero-athletes redemption who cycled for good, while being bad. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lance Armstrong; Isaiah; redemption; contemporary sport culture; exile Lance Armstrong; Isaiah; redemption; contemporary sport culture; exile
MDPI and ACS Style

Meyer, A.R. Redemption of ‘Fallen’ Hero-Athletes: Lance Armstrong, Isaiah, and Doing Good while Being Bad. Religions 2019, 10, 486.

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