PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Lance Armstrong crossed the finish line holding an American flag and rode straight into our hearts.
But years of admiration were wiped clean in one night when he confessed to cheating.
"We put celebrities on pedestals and there is no doubt about that. We expect them to be superhuman. We expect them to never tell a lie," said Axia Public Relations President, Jason Mudd.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancers during all of his Tour de France victories. He even admitted that his major drug of choice was testosterone.
"There is such high stakes. There is so much pressure to preform and compete. It doesn't excuse what he did, but it does explain his rationale," said Mudd.
Jason Mudd is a public relations expert with Axia. He says Armstrong's biggest battle will have nothing to do with cycling.
"He has got to get back to work, whether it's through this sport or another engagement. He has to build his brand and reputation back. That's going to be the harder part," said Mudd.
Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories, and the Olympics Committee has asked to get back its gold medal.
"Americans are very forgiving. We like to worship our heroes. We like to see people overcome the odds," said Mudd. And Mudd says this is what sets Armstrong up for a potential comeback even if he never rides a bike again.