This was posted on a cycling forum by "Dog" and I thought it was uplifting enough!
Posted by: Dog Sep-26-01, 03:45 PM
Here's a brief e-mail written by our NIKE PR guy that was with Lance in NYC................
Perhaps it was best said by a surprised member of New York City's Office of
Emergency Management (OEM). After hugging the three-time Tour de France
Champion Lance Armstrong, she said to her associate, "It's just like to him
to show up here."
And so he did. Having called Nike to ask if there was something -- anything
-- he could do to help, Lance accepted an invitation of the American Red
Cross to come to New York City to provide support, encouragement and
gratitude to the families of the victims and relief workers at the World
Trade Center Terrorist Disaster. There was one rule -- no press. In Lance's
words, "that city has done so much for me, I'm happy to go - but this isn't
about publicity, it's about helping those who need it." Nike PR couldn't
have agreed more.
Lance arrived into the city on Friday night and went immediately to the
Family Assistance Center, where he met with volunteers of the American Red
Cross and families looking for their loved ones. He then made his way over
to the Command Center of the OEM, which resembled an active floor of a
typical business convention with hundreds of people -- from the NYFD to the
Coast Guard to the Steel Workers Union to the FBI -- running about in a
state of organized confusion as they directed the rescue, recovery and
clean-up efforts. Lance was asked to address the workers. Wearing a OEM Hat,
his remarks were more than moving, bringing some to tears. He called them to
the true heroes for our nation and repeatedly thanked them for their
around-the-clock efforts on behalf of all Americans. He received a standing
ovation and then stepped off the podium to a pose for countless pictures,
sign autographs and pat many people on the back.
Saturday morning began early with a stops at Firehouses from the Lower East
Side to Mid-town to the Upper West Side. Visiting nine stations, Lance
casually walked up to the houses unannounced. He listen to stories, shared
in their grief and provided a true moment of diversion for these men and
women. One firefighter, who is an avid cyclist, didn't recognize Lance at
first. After letting out a loud expletive, he hugged him and then started to
cry when he learned that Lance was standing before him for no other reason
than to say "thank you" -- many Fireman could not believe that Lance had no
other business being in NYC. At Bowery Station 33, Lance actually raced the
guys on two of their rusted out Shin bikes (which had no breaks) -- it was
truly a remarkable and heart-warming scene. All stations posed with Lance
for a group shot, as he wore their helmet and/or station shirts.
As our driver said, "when we pulled up, you could feel the pain through the
look in their eyes. When we left, you could clearly see the smiles in their
From there is was off to Ground Zero. A site that is impossible to
The stench and the heat are enough to make you cry. Yet the TV can not, in
any way, detail how destructive this act has been. Add into the mix the
gruesome and gut-wrenching stories of the body parts everywhere and you feel
a sickening of the heart that we never expected. We just looked at each
other and simply said, "I had no idea it was this bad," as hundreds of
workers scurried all around us.
And the clean-up will go until March.
That afternoon Lance toured the Jacob Javits Convention Center that is now
used at the operation center for the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA). Again Lanced posed for pictures, knelt down to chat with resting
rescuers and thanked many a volunteers ... without question, it was a
dispute as to which Search and Rescue Team was more thrilled -- those from
Texas or the guys from France.
When word spread that he was in town President Clinton and Mayor Giuliani
asked that he come meet with them. The Mayor greeted Lance with a prolonged
embrace and then shut the door as the three discussed the present tragedy
and the uncertain future. Following their meeting, Lance toured the sight
via helicopter with Giuliani and Clinton.
After that it was back to more fire stations.
As I left Manhattan at nearly 11:00 PM the news radio had "reports that
American Hero Lance Armstrong had flew in and out of town just to say thank
I have had the pleasure to work with many athletes on countless occasions.
None have inspired me more than Lance in these two days. He admitted he was
scared to come here for many reason -- in fact, his wife was terrified, but
he did it anyway. He truly moved the people he touched and let others that
heard of visit know people like him still care enough to do what they can,
even if it's a simple expression of gratitude.