'30 for 30 Lance' Part 2 Review: No matter how honest the apology, Armstrong might never be forgiven
'I wish I could change it. I wish I could have been a better man. All I can do is say I'm sorry and move on' Armstrong had said in apology
For all the apologies, the honest answers and the heartfelt comments in ESPN's '30 for 30' Lance, the cyclist may have to accept the fact that he will never be fully forgiven by the world for all that he's done. Back when he was winning races, Lance Armstrong was deemed "driven," "passionate" and as somebody who "demanded excellence," by his peers. And he admits he was. Except, the means used to achieve the end goal was unfair.
The second part of the gripping docuseries sees him shed light on his book, "It's Not About The Bike." In a rather matter-of-fact tone, he says, "Everything in that book was true except the part about doping and my opinions on it." The 48-year-old also confessed that it was unfair to use Livestrong as a shield for what he did. At some stage in the docuseries, it is hard to not see some sincerity on his part. The question though remains: Is it too late to make amends for what he did.
Armstrong's family gets some screentime. Luke Armstrong, born to Kristin Richard and a football player for the Rice Owls, is asked if he would use performance-enhancing drugs. "I've always felt like grinding," he answers. "If I did get caught, they will be like, he's just like his dad." And Armstrong said he wouldn't suggest the idea to his son. But again, he's not entirely against it. He said his mind could change if Luke made it to the NFL, even though such substances are banned in the sport.
The two-hour finale also captures the downfall of Armstrong, especially after Floyd Landis, his former teammate makes a confession on email. And after what was the lengthy investigative case, the news simmered down only to be blown up again and this time, it was the start of the end of Armstrong's career, name and fame. While there are those who firmly stand by their opinion that he deserved what was coming, there might have been a few percentages in the world who just might let go.
Armstrong's confession to his US Postal masseuse and sports therapist is probably as honest as it can get. "To call a woman a w***e is unacceptable," he fesses. "Why did I do it? Because I was an idiot." He makes similar sincere apologies to Betsy Andreu. He claimed it was one of the worst things he did in his career and while Landis, who termed him as a "tough, hard m*********r," there's something close to moisture in Armstrong's eyes. There are multiple plotlines the series captures.
The icy relationship between him and Greg LeMond, the death of Italian cyclist Marco Pantani's death due to cocaine poisoning, the insulting of Filippo Simeoni— all of which saw him as brash and arrogant sports personality who got away with just about everything he did. His current partner, Anna Hansen recollects the time his world was crumbling down. There's a bit of revelation about his divorce with Kristin and the start of a relationship with Sheryl Crow immediately after.
What was astounding and disgusting for the world was how fluently Armstrong denied the doping allegations. Such was the confidence he radiated that people stuck by him only for cold, hard evidence that would do him in later on. In the end, there's a sense of relief that could be seen in his face. Probably with this, he said everything that had to be. "I wish I could change it. I wish I could have been a better man. All I can do is say I'm sorry and move on."
This line ends the docuseries. But does it end the hate that he's garnered across the years?