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Lance Armstrong Biography

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Lance Armstrong Starts Riding

Lance Armstrong was born September 18, 1971 in Plano, Texas. His parents divorced when Armstrong was really young and Lance was raised by his mother, Linda. Lance Armstrong got his first bicycle when he was seven and started riding every day. Some days Armstrong would cycle all the way to Oklahoma and would have to call his mom to come pick him up. Eventually, Lance Armstrong was able to bike home himself and started entering amateur races. During his senior year of high school, he moved to Colorado to train with the US Olympic development team for cycling.

Lance Armstrong Turns Pro

Lance Armstrong competed in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, where he placed 14th in the road race. After the Olympics, Armstrong turned pro and joined the Motorola cycling team. His pro career didn't get off to a great start, as Lance Armstrong finished dead last in his first race. But in 1993, Armstrong won the World Road Race Championship in Oslo, Norway and by 1996 Lance was the seventh-ranked cyclist in the world.

Lance Armstrong Battles Cancer

After competing in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Armstrong started to feel tired and weak and couldn't race as well as he used to. Doctors told Lance he had cancer in his testicles. Lance Armstrong had one of his testicles removed and started massive chemotherapy. The cancer eventually spread to Armstrong's brain and doctors only gave him a 40 percent chance of surviving. That didn't stop Lance Armstrong from believing he could race again. Armstrong had surgery and several more doses of chemotherapy and was cancer-free by February 1997.

Lance Armstrong Battles Back

Lance Armstrong returned to competitive cycling in 1998, and in 1999 he entered the grueling Tour de France - a 2,274 mile race through the Alps. Armstrong dominated the race from start to finish and won the event by nearly seven minutes. Lance's amazing comeback from cancer made Armstrong a world-wide celebrity and an inspiration for other people with cancer. Since returning to competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong became the world's most dominant force on two wheels. He went on to win the Tour de France a record seven straight times! Armstrong won his seventh and final Tour de France by more than four minutes, cementing himself as one of America's greatest athletes of all time.

Steroids?

There has been plenty of speculation about Armstrong and doping. Cycling has a very bad reputation for abusing performance enhancing drugs. As the sport’s most famous personality, Armstrong has had to repeatedly answer questions about cheating. He’s always denied that he’s ever used steroids or any other performance enhancing drugs, claiming that he’s “the most tested athlete in the world,” which is probably true. Armstrong was reportedly tested 24 times between 2008-2009.

Lance Comes Back, Again

In September 2008, Armstrong announced that he was going to return to pro cycling at the age of 37. He says this is because he wants to continue to raise global awareness about cancer. However, many believe it’s his goal to compete for an amazing eighth Tour de France title and dispel once and for all the claims about him using performance enhancing drugs.

More About Lance Armstrong

  • Lance founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to benefit cancer research and the Lance Armstrong Junior Race Series to promote cycling and racing for American kids.
  • More than 40 million of Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong" yellow bracelets have been sold to raise money for cancer research.
  • Lance Armstrong is separated from Kristin Richard. They have a son, Luke and twin daughters, Isabella and Grace.
  • Lance Armstrong was engaged to singer Sheryl Crow, who was nearly 10 years older than him. However, the couple broke up in 2006.
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