Lance Armstrong may just be the most courageous athlete of our time, and his story has “made-for-TV movie” written all over it. Despite desperate odds (40%) of even surviving a medical onslaught of testicular, lung and brain cancer, not only did Lance battle back to full health, but he also managed to win top prize at the Tour de France that following year. Now a six-time champion of the esteemed cycling competition, Lance has taken his life experience with cancer and joined others in the community to fight the deadly disease. As one of the most pervasive forces behind the project, not only has Lance helped to raise awareness for cancer victims, but has done what Tiger Woods did for golf by bringing the sport of cycling to the American public eye.
Born in 1971 in a small town outside of Texas, Lance began competing in triathlons at an early age, but quickly discovered that the cycling aspect of the race was his strongest suit, even garnering attention from the national cycling team while he was still finishing high school. Lance went on to win the National Amateur Cycling Championship his first year as a professional cyclist, and has continued to win numerous awards ever since. After Lance was diagnosed with cancer in 1996 though, the future of his career seemed bleak. He recovered in only five short months, and was determined to get back on the bike with a rigorous training schedule that would soon have him competing against the world’s best, though many (including his former sponsor Cofidis) didn’t believe that he would be able to compete at the same level as before.
Lance proved to the skeptics that he still had what it took to be a contender with a series of minor victories, but it was at the 1999 Tour de France where he made the leap from recovering cancer patient to international cycling sensation. He has gone on to win the competition every year since for a total of six consecutive wins. After his fourth victory in 2002, Lance was even named as Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year,” but that didn’t help from fueling the most recent controversy behind his consistent record.
Ever since his third consecutive Tour de France win, Lance has been blasted by fellow cyclists with accusations that he uses performance-enhancing drugs, and although he has blatantly denied his involvement with any sort of drug use, and tested negative on every single test he’s been required to take, the witch hunt goes on. Friends of Lance, like comedian Robin Williams, have attacked this issue with just as much aggression as his challengers. Could it simply be possible that Lance Armstrong just so happens to be an amazing athlete? Of course not. He must be doing something to aid him in winning six successive titles. What the future holds for the international hero is still to be determined, but what we do know, is that Lance Armstrong is one of the most influential athletes in the history of sports, and he will continue to serve as an inspiration to many whether he continues to race or not.
Lance on the Web
The official website of the champion cyclist.
The official site for Lance's LIVESTRONG Foundation.
The LIVESTRONG Store
Stop by this online shop to pick up sports gear, posters, and more.
Nike - Wear Yellow
Nike's official site for the LIVESTRONG campaign.
The Lance Armstrong Fan Club
An unofficial fan page dedicated to the athlete.
He Said It
"Life is short... it's better to win."
"It's ironic, I used to ride my bike to make a living. Now I just want to live so that I can ride."