In my living life, I have seen many a winner, many a champion - Pele, Bjorn Borg, Boris Becker, Juan miguel fangio, Sunil Gavaskar, Carl lewis, to mention but a few. Each of them champions in their own right, who had in their own fashion and style dominated their sports in their age. But there a few amongst them, who didnt stop with being champions, for just mention in the record books did not satiate their hearts. They went the mile ahead and wrote their names in stone forever - they made history ...
... Lance Armstrong is one of them. To recover from a life-threating cancer to win 5 consequtive Tour de Frande Cycle race (arguably the most gruelling of them all) is the kind of stuff that legends are made of !
Quoting from The Sportstar :
SPORT at the highest levels is not for the faint-hearted; the demands it makes on the top performers are so extraordinary that there is no room at the top for athletes who find the mental edge rather elusive. By its very nature, on its big stage, sport does not entertain men and women who cannot constantly spill their guts in search of glory.
It is because of this the ones that are not strong-willed and single-minded can rarely aspire to the heights reached by a select few in every sport. For, talent, in terms of pure athletic ability, is just one part of the heady mix that makes for success at the top.
What is often even more important when it comes to success is the strength of mind and heart that gives the champion the edge in a battle. And, whether you agree with George Orwell in terms of the context in which he wrote what he did or not, sport, in many ways, is indeed war minus shooting.
Then again, quite often, it is not the on-field battle that is crucial; the more significant one is the one to be fought within. And sport's greatest fighters are those who win the latter first before announcing themselves as champions on the big stage.