Lance Armstrong: “If you want to be famous…be careful”

“Do you want to be famous?”
Imagine being asked that question by Lance Armstrong — one of the most famous athletes on the planet.
I found myself in that interesting position this spring when, during the question-and-answer portion of a speech Lance gave at the University at Buffalo, I asked him, “What are the biggest misconceptions about fame?”
He turned the question around on me — which I’ll get back to in a moment — but first let me tell you his reaction.
He went on to tell me how he wouldn’t want to be famous because with the social media of our generation, nothing is a secret.
“You’re all ‘covering’ this event tonight,” he said, and then added, half-serious and half-joking: “I can’t get away with anything!”
He gave the example of when he finished a race and was accused of blowing off his daughter when he really just didn’t see her. He told me that fame is a double-edged sword because you can reach a lot of people, like he has done through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but it’s hard because people are watching your every move.
When he asked me if I wanted to be famous I sort of just smiled and shrugged, feeling pressured by the large audience I knew was watching me.  That put me in his shoes for a minute. I tried to imagine feeling that way, multiplied by 1,000, every single day. I realized being famous is a sacrifice. You are sacrificing privacy for the opportunity to reach people through the positive things you do, and risking having the mistakes you make blown up for the whole world to see.
Lance gave me one parting tip… or warning: “If you want to be famous, you’d better be careful.”
Seems like smart advice.
— Hailey Rose G.
LSY! Teen Reporter
Mount St. Mary Academy

Hailey Rose G. chats with Lance Armstrong.

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