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Web2 Conversations: Lance Armstrong

By - October 28, 2008

Lance

Next up in our ongoing tour of conversations at Web 2 next week is Lance Armstrong, the seven time winner of the Tour de France, who recently announced his “de-reitrement” and is going for an eighth win. This appearance, a dinner conversation on day one, is one of Lance’s only public appearances since he announced his comeback. He’s also an internet entrepreneur, having launched Livestrong.com, a health site, earlier this summer.

This should be quite a unique opportunity to talk to one of the world’s most extraordinary people. Remember my new contest: I’ve decided to take three of my personal complementary passes to Web 2 – yes, even the Program Chair only gets so many – and give them to those who comment on my site about these Web 2 conversations. My decisions are entirely subjective, but I plan to pick the three best questions, and reward them with a fress pass – a street value of nearly $4000 each. Yes, commentators from the past four posts are already eligible:

Mark Zuckerberg

Jerry Yang

Larry Brilliant

Paul Otellini

So…what should I ask Lance Armstrong?

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24 thoughts on “Web2 Conversations: Lance Armstrong

  1. Glenn Fleishman says:

    How do you prove an unprovable? Despite years of allegations about doping, no testing has ever found the presence of banned substances in your various fluids. There’s clearly still widespread doping in most athletic events, as well as a huge number of methods of covering up doping with other chemical agents or techniques. Can you ever prove a negative? (Follow-up: How many gallons of blood have you given to prove yourself?)

  2. Peter West says:

    What is the most important personal quality that has helped you to stare-down (and obliterate) adversity?

    How did you acquire it?
    How do you replenish it?
    How do you share it?

    PS – You a true hero,
    for all the right reasons

    PPS – John, I appreciate having the opportunity to become involved in your interviews

  3. Aaron Weaver says:

    What is the best thing we can do to create people who are willing to rise to a challenge even when they are difficult and seem like they are unattainable. This can apply to business, physical challenges, and development of concepts of ideas.

    I do believe that Mr. Armstrong is a true survivor. He is some one I personally feel has shown us how to be a good person and has inspired many to act. BRAVO sir you are a true champion in many areas and I hope you will continue to be that champion.

  4. First recommendation: Stay away from talking about doping; that’s not what he’s here to talk about. Since retiring from the Tour, Armstrong has been focusing on LiveStrong and working on raising the awareness of cancer research and funding. Ask him about that. What the future goals are for the LiveStrong campaign, how he’d like to see that spread worldwide, and how the web is helping him reach that goal.

    Of course you’ll have to return to cycling.

    Ask about his new team, what sort of ride he will be on (is he staying with Trek?), what his training regiment has been like since coming out of retirement, and maybe ask who he has been training with. Who does he think is the stiffest competition leading into the next Tour?

    Ask if he plans to expand his “Ride with Lance” tour to other cities. What about doing something big during “Bike to Work Week”? Such as, “Bike to Work — With Lance — Week,” where people who donate X$ get a chance to have Lance visit them and ride to work with them for a day. That could help raise awareness about cycling, the LiveStrong Foundation, and cancer research. (Maybe he could partner with “Bicycling” magazine for their annual “Bike Town” promotion?)

    Ask if he has plans to write another book, and if so, if he can let us know more about it.

    But stay away from doping. He’s heard enough of it, and so have we.

  5. can you talk about the advantages and disadvantages of your unique lifestyle and mention its affects on your daily thoughts? how did you transition into this lifestyle and looking back now, what would you change if anything.

    god bless.

  6. Lance just recently started using Twitter. What are his initial impressions? How does he see social media sites Twitter having a role in spreading the message about LiveStrong or interacting with cycling fans?

  7. Jon Leland says:

    Lance, you have already succeeded in the face of more adversity than most people face in several lifetimes. It’s one thing to win races, but another to win as many races as you have after having battled testicular cancer… not to mention all the false accusations etc. Do you have a special gene for comebacks or is there some kind of “secret sauce” that the rest of us can use so that each of us can overcome our own personal demons and succeed beyond normal expectations?

  8. Mike Johnson says:

    The Live Strong movement (and they visual representation of the yellow bracelet) almost defined “virality” and community for this decade. The copy cats are rolling in to this day. What did you learn from that experience? What does it take to truly engage people to the point of action?

  9. John says:

    I applaud your efforts to inspire individuals with cancer.

    What are the specific ways re-entering the pro peleton help the cancer community? Is it awareness? Is it money? Are you trying to reach individuals or more general public support? I believe some day science will breakdown & isolate the different forms of cancer, how far away do you think this is? What needs to happen between now & then?
    Is a portion of your comeback the fact you like to train, ride & race your bike? What are your main targets: sporting and non-sporting? What challenges are there & differences between managing fellow teammates on the road or managing the staff that assist your non-sporting efforts?
    Could you speak about the current condition how the same technology is helping people treat cancer, yet it is the same science that is making tuning the human body to have the capacity to do superhuman efforts?

  10. You recently told Texas football players to “focus on the race you’re in.”

    Does building a business like Livestrong.com take the same kind of focus? What’s different about it?

    How about the fight against cancer?

  11. Rikard Linde says:

    Is it important to compete? Why/ why not?

  12. foo says:

    Lance,

    Why don’t you retire for good.

    Why keep fighting and competing, when you are really only competing with yourself???

    Do you really expect us to believe that your decision to come out of retirement to race again is ‘to gain awareness for the fight against cancer???’

    Why can’t you spend time with your children, who you probably don’t even know?

    When it is all over and you are old and not famous, will you regret your decisions?

    Admit it – it’s all about you, not the bike.

    Sad.

  13. Larry says:

    How much time did you actually take off following your last TDF victory and how much weight did you put on?

    How have you found the comeback trail at the age of 37 differing than back in 1998 following the cancer treatments? Can you comment on the differences in physical strength, mental strength (still truly hungry), and resolve needed to race at a world class level again?

  14. Peter West says:

    How has web technology touched your personal and professional life? (What barriers has it helped you to break?)

  15. Narendra says:

    How important is ego in sport?

  16. When it comes to health computers and the internet are often associated with health risks. (straining eyes, poor posture, sitting down for long periods of time etc.) Launching a health website you’ve seized an opportunity to prove this stereotype wrong. Do you use any online health resources personally, and what kind of technology do you use to help maintain a healthy lifestyle?

  17. Ron says:

    Lance, we have hardly ever seen you lose during you 7 year reign in the Tour de France. Let alone lose something significant. We all know you’re great at winning, will your comeback eventually (maybe next year, maybe many years from now) show us how well you are at losing?

  18. mrg says:

    what the web strategy is behind his new shop’s website http://www.mellowjohnnys.com/

    why no content? Even for Austin residents, the lack of info is odd.
    More so when i hear that a major online media company was involved with it.

  19. Hello Lance. First, honored to write this comment via http://battellemedia.com page. I found out about this via twitter – web2summit. My question to you is very simple. What is the very first thing you say to yourself when you are down? Even for that brief moment.. as I feel as you are a positive person in general.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Susan KN
    (Boston, NYC)

  20. paul says:

    The American economy needs to find it’s second wind, as you’ve demonstrated time after time in Le Tour how do we overcome the physical and mental struggle to reach the peak of yet another mountain stage?

  21. jonathan ehrlich says:

    Simply ask him this:

    In a world in so much trouble (almost frightened of itself really) how would he define failure?

  22. Glenn Fleishman says:

    Chuck Toporek suggested not asking about doping. I find that tricky, given that Lance is going back into the fray, and doping claims – but never proof – have dogged his career.

    Doping is a failure of regime: it’s a mismatch between what the sports industry and the sports governing bodies tell athletes, with some overlap.

    Doping is also a widespread problem for American youth. The double-digit statistics on the number of high-school athletes who are taking steroids and other drugs, which will likely leave them with ruined health in their later years is just depressing.

  23. 331miles says:

    Lance — do you know an internet troll named Foo?

  24. Matt S says:

    Lance,
    Why should we care?

    I’m a fan of cycling – riding, and watching. I’ve been a shop rat, have a chain ring tattoo, read Armstrong’s autobiographies, ride a ’99 Trek Postal, and even helped sponsor an amateur team (Fior di Frutta) when I had my own company. I was inspired by Armstrong’s drive, spirit, and performance – especially when the competition from Ullrich was involved.

    Armstrong was 100% American who acted with such modesty that even the Europeans couldn’t hate him (how much respect did the 2001 mountain stage “fake” earn for him?). He was reserved, quiet, and thankful for his team. The original Postal Team was just that – a team. Hamilton and Hincapie have since all but been forgotten.

    I was moved when Lance wrote in his first book that, after surviving cancer, he refocused his priorities in life, sold the Porsche, and started riding. He was a humble Texan with a beautiful family beating (and playing games with) the French at their own sport. That’s inspiring – that’s who I want to watch on TV. That all seems to be forgotten and replaced with a superficial multi-million glamour boy more interested in fame than the simple things that cancer originally made him focus on.

    In a sport that has been plagued by scandal, with an icon that who’s performance seems to be only surpassed by his ego, why should I care about an 8th win?

    Thanks,
    Matt