Livestrong Foundation charts path forward after Lance Armstrong fallout


LIVE STRONG event planning and development intern and UT sport management senior Lane Follmar works on a project at the LIVE STRONG office Tuesday afternoon. Questions have been raised about how the internship department could be affected with recent news.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

The Livestrong Foundation is attempting to move on following Lance Armstrong’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, and affiliated organizations and former interns remain supportive of its cause.

The foundation began in 1997 and is based in Austin, where Armstrong lives. Armstrong headed the organization’s board until he stepped down in November after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency produced a report with evidence of his doping practices. 

The organization released a statement in response to Armstrong’s on-camera interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during every one of his seven Tour de France titles. The foundation expressed its disappointment in Armstrong, as well as unveiling its plan for moving forward.

“We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us,” the foundation stated. “We look forward to devoting our full energy to our mission of helping people not only fight and survive cancer, but also thrive in life after cancer.”

Livestrong also sponsors several organizations that raise money for cancer research, such as Texas 4000. Texas 4000 is a UT student organization that organizes annual charity bike rides from Austin to Anchorage, Ala.

Biomedical engineering senior David Martin, a member of the Texas 4000, is planning to ride on the 2013 team this summer. Martin said despite all of the controversy with the foundation, his team’s only focus is to raise awareness for cancer research.

“Our main goal is fighting cancer in any way possible and Livestrong is our sponsor and [has] done a fantastic job,” Martin said. “The main fight, regardless of what other people have done or what has been said about Livestrong, is to fight cancer and to raise hope, knowledge and charity.”

Livestrong also recruits interns from the 40 Acres. Psychology senior Jamie Hill, who interned in Livestrong’s navigation services department, said nothing has changed her perception of the good work that has been done by the foundation.

“[The controversy] has not changed my feelings about how much I want to fight cancer,” Hill said. “If anyone is passionate about fighting cancer or has thought about interning at Livestrong, it’s a wonderful opportunity for growth.”

Public relations senior Mackenzie Neel interned with Livestrong last semester and also agrees that the foundation impacted her positively.

“I loved being there,” Neel said. “The atmosphere was wonderful. They kept any negativity out of the intern room. Despite whatever is going on, Livestrong has helped millions of people and I have been proud to be a part of it.”

The foundation has raised over $400 million dollars since its inception.

Published on January 23, 2013 as "Livestrong continues work despite conflict".