A rapid conversion from America's foremost cyclist to America's foremost drugged-up fraud hasn't yet lost Lance Armstrong his entire ball of wax. But wax Lance Armstrong is feeling the effects.
The torso of the yellow-jersey-clad Armstrong figure was spotted this week in the prone position at San Francisco's Wax Museum. Sans head and hands, wax Armstrong awaited banishment from the museum's front window. Is this the natural fate of a fallen idol revealed to have pumped himself with enough blood coagulants that his innards may well resemble his wax doppelganger's?
Actually, no. The Wax Museum isn't removing Lance because he fell from grace, but because he fell from the headlines. "He doesn't seem to be at the top of the news recently," says Curtis Huber, the museum's longtime curator. "We have the Super Bowl coming up, so we put Beyoncé up. She's gonna be performing at halftime, so we put her in a Kaepernick jersey."
The Wax Museum evidently isn't interested in passing moral judgment upon its exhibits -- Beyonce is undergoing a mini-scandal of her own. Scandals sell, obviously. The museum was happy to flog its Armstrong figure in connection with its Oprah statue when that was the news of the day. Other luminaries in the museum's collection include Richard Nixon (who was pardoned by the sculpture of Gerald Ford) and famed misogynistic anti-Semite Mel Gibson.
Regardless of how the real Armstrong's life turns out, his wax figure has a place in San Francisco."He may have fallen from grace, but it still puts him in the news," says Huber. "He's a worthy figure for us. We're not doing just the good guys."
Wax Armstrong, which Huber estimates cost more than $20,000 to craft in around 2004, isn't being melted down or scrapped for parts. He's being relegated from the front window to his normal spot in back with the "sports heroes."
Yes, you guessed it: Lance is now sharing space with Barry Bonds.