What Michael Rasmussen has learned me as a parent

In culture on November 5, 2013 at 23:05

Some might know who Michael Rasmussen is. He is a retired Danish professional bicycle racer. He was close to win the 2007 version of Tour de France when he was stabbed in the back in accordance with the Jante Law.

Now it is not that he was the only cheater in the game of modern professional biking. The sport is as much entertainment as professional wrestling. The athletes are only up for show and the people behind the sport, the sponsors, the suppliers of equipment and clothes are the real masterminds wanting action and media coverage instead of a pure sport.

Look at a bike firm like Trek. They went after Lemond when he criticized the sport because there was money to earn by supporting a dirty sport. The very moment the media uncovered the truth they turned around the plate and cut Armstrong off like the past was forgotten. It is all about money.

But the individual athlete who could have chosen not to participate in this circus does after all also hold some kind of responsibility. They could choose not to compeed. They could choose to live an ordinary life instead of living out their potential and reach for the stars.

And that is where Michael Rasmussen made the biggest mistake of his life. He should have settled for a normal day job in the supermarket. Look where he grew up! He came from a small village in the western part of Sealand. It is not from that community the rich and famous come from. In Denmark we worship the social heritage. We worship the Jante law. Worre who came from Frederiksberg – a place where only rich people can afford to live – stabbed him in the back at a moment where he should have been quiet. Maybe because Rasmussen got further in his career. Even Worre had previous positive doping tests tainting his CV but that did not seem to prevent his attacks.

Michael Rasmussen is the rider in Denmark who have been punished hardest as result of doping. Why?

Because he had ambitions. Because he went for the top instead of having a fun time with friends building up a network who would stand at his side when times got tough.

That is the lesson I will teach my children. They shall not outlive their potential. They shall build networks and hang out with friends. Schooling and career must be second priority in their lives because I want them to have a happy life.

Maybe then they will not have to experience so much unjust as Rasmussen had.



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