After taking home his seventh consecutive Tour de France title July 24, Lance Armstrong is being hailed as a sports legend. Scores of American fans who've scarcely watched and barely understand the sport of cycling will utter his name in reverent tones and don the ubiquitous yellow bracelets in a show of adoration for their idol. Of course, Lance mania has everything to do with his iconic status as cancer survivor, and little to do with his tenacious competitiveness. Beyond serving as crusading voice on cancer issues, Armstrong has become a symbolic emblem of hope to millions. The fundamental message conveyed by the Armstrong in pharmaceutical and automobile ads, in media coverage, in the work of Armstrong's nonprofit foundation―is that if you will it, you can do it. Whether it's beating cancer or winning the Tour de France, the right attitude, the proper measure of confidence will make you victorious. When it comes to cancer, however, this philosophy is dubious and misleading. As he painfully details in his best-selling autobiography, his tough-guy athletic ethos caused him to ignore all the warning signs that there was something seriously wrong with him. He was spitting blood, with a testicle the size of an orange, before he finally turned to someone for help. A healthy dose of humility, rather than an I-am the-king-of the-world mentality, is in some ways a far more sensible prescription for someone facing cancer. Other details of Armstrong's story further undermine his representative status. To begin with, testicular cancer is one of the most curable of cancers, typically achieving cure rates of higher than 95 percent. In other words, Armstrong was “fortunate” in contracting one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Entering treatment with the physiology of a world-class athlete was a further advantage that few other cancer patients possess. Armstrong has seemingly ushered in a reversal of the image of the cancer victim: from the disgraced, concealed figure that Susan Sontag wrote about nearly 30 years ago in her classic “Illness as Metaphor” to the image of the heroic survivor of which Armstrong is the leading icon.
the image of the heroic survivor of which Armstrong is the leading icon.
which はthe heroic survivorを指しています。上の文は関係代名詞を使っているから、少し、わかりづらくなっていますが、関係代名詞を使わない文に変えると、 Armstrong is the leading icon of the heroic survivorになります。Armstrongはthe heroic survivorを代表するようなicon（シンボル、象徴）である。 前置詞の位置は関係代名詞の前でも以下のように、後ろでもいいです。 the heroic survivor which Armstrong is the leading icon of.
Yes, I'll take being identified with a jock over being viewed as a leper any day, but there are complications that accompany this “cultural transformation”.