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From deadly cancer to unparalleled triumph, the story of Lance Armstrong

With his recent unprecedented seventh Tour de France victory, Lance Armstrong is perhaps the greatest cyclist of all time.

Born Lance Edward Gunderson on September 18, 1971, in Plano Texas, the son of Linda Gayle Mooneyham and Eddie Charles Gunderson. Eddie disappeared when Lance was two years old, and Linda remarried Terry Keith Armstrong, whose last name Lance took on. Lance didn’t get along with his stepfather, he hadn’t seen him in several years, and he didn’t express any desire to meet his biological father either.

Lance was very athletic from a very young age, having started seriously running and swimming at the age of ten. At thirteen, he had begun competing in adult amateur triathlons. He became a professional triathlete at sixteen, won the national sprint triathlon championship the following year and became the number one triathlete in the 19-and-under age group.

cycling race

Lance soon decided to focus on his favorite and best event, cycling, and in 1990 he became the US National Amateur Champion. The following year, he qualified for the US Cycling Olympic Team and finished fourteenth in overall at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

The following year, Lance turned professional, joining the Motorola team and finishing the year ranked first in the world. His achievements that year included winning the eighth stage of his first Tour de France, becoming the youngest man to win the World Road Racing Championship and the first man to win the “Triple Crown”; the Thrift Drug Classic, the Kmart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO National Championship. However, his first Tour de France was disappointing; despite his eighth stage win, he soon fell behind and eventually retired from the race.

Cancer and Recovery

In 1995, Lance took his first victory at the Tour de Pont, a race in which he had already competed twice. 1996 began as another successful year for him, in which he repeated the Tour de Pont victory for him, this time setting several racing records, and once again qualified for the US Olympic team, despite recover from bronchitis.

However, on October 2, 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with stage three non-seminomatous testicular cancer which, due to his late diagnosis, had already spread to his abdomen, lungs, lymph nodes, and later, even to his abdomen. your brain. Hoping to save his career, Lance opted for a more dangerous chemotherapy treatment and underwent surgery to remove one of his testicles and the tumors in his brain. He was given about a 50% chance of survival. His doctor later told him, however, that the actual odds were closer to 3%, and that Lance had been given the higher odds to help keep his spirits up. In February 1997, he was declared cancer-free and established the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer patients. in 1998 he again placed fourth in the World Road Racing Championships. The same year he married Kristin Richard, whom he had met through his foundation.

Tour de France wins and divorce

Competing in the Tour de France for the first time in several years, Armstrong took his first victory in the race, winning four of the twenty-one stages. He repeated in 2000, this time defeating two of his main rivals who had missed the last race, Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani, with Ullrich taking second place. In this year he also suffered a shock to the system from a car accident, but recovered in time for the 2000 Olympic Games, in Sydney, in which he won a bronze medal.

In 2001 and 2002, Ullrich was again second behind Armstrong in the Tour de France. He won again in 2003, but in that year he divorced Kristin Armstrong, and she cited the difficulties of caring for her cancer and her extensive travels. However, Lance continued his winning streak, notching wins in 2004 and 2005, bringing his total to seven before finally retiring. He currently holds the record for the most wins by any individual.


Armstrong currently devotes his time to his charitable foundation, while continuing to compete in various cycling and running events. From 2003 to 2006, he dated singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow. Lance currently resides in a home in Austin, Texas, where he also owns a ranch.

Birth: September 18, 1971

Deceased: —

Famous for: Renowned cyclist and athlete, founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Key achievements: Record seven-time Tour de France winner, cancer survivor.

Meaningful quote: “To be a champion is to redefine what is humanly possible.”

funny quote: “Do you know when I need to die? When I’m done living. When I can’t walk, can’t eat, can’t see, when I’m a cantankerous old bastard, angry at the world. Then I can die.”

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