Gyms and Fitness Clubs

"The Golden Boy of Cycling"


Born on September 18th, 1971, Lance Armstrong is one of the most celebrated contributors to the sport of cycling. This national and world cycling champion, two-time Olympian, and as of 2003, five-time winner of the Tour de France hasn't gone through life without his share of failure and hardships.

Lance began his illustrious career at a young age competing in triathlons. At the age of 13 he won the Iron Kids' Triathlon and by age 16 was a professional triathlete. It didn't take long, however, before Lance found his true love...cycling.

By age 18 he qualified for the junior world championships in Moscow and by age 20 was crowned the U.S. National Amateur Cycling Champion. One year later he had the honor to represent the United States in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Following the Olympics, Armstrong began competing as a professional. His first race was the 1992 Classico San Sebastian. Although Lance had experienced nothing but success to this point in his career, things changed in a hurry. His first professional race proved to be something he would rather forget. Armstrong finished in last place, 27 minutes behind the leader. Despite the poor performance and with some encouragement from his mother, he didn't quit.

Armstrong's strength and tenacity was evident when the following season rolled around. He won 10 titles including the US PRO Championship, a first-stage victory in the Tour de France, and became the youngest road racing world champion ever.

Over the next two years Armstrong continued his winning ways, chalking up wins in the 1993 Thrift Triple Crown, 1995 Tour Du Pont, and scored a dramatic stage 18 win at the 1995 Tour de France and a victory at the Classico San Sebastian-the same race he finished last at in his first outing as a professional. In 1995 he was named the Velo News American Male Cyclist of the Year.

In 1996, and ranked the number one cyclist in the world, Armstrong's life changed forever. He was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and brain. He was given less than a 50% chance for recovery. After two surgeries to remove the malignant cancer, an aggressive form of chemotherapy and enormous support from family and friends, Armstrong was on the road to recovery. In fact, just five months after his diagnosis he was back on his bike, training.

Because there was no way I could put this in my own words, the next section of this story is taken directly from the Lance Armstrong Official Website:

Getting cancer was "...the best thing that ever happened to me," Lance said, in relation to the maturity and life focus the disease forced him to face. Throughout this life-threatening ordeal, Lance knew his priorities were changing. His physical well-being, something that had never been challenged, was suddenly fragile. He was given the chance to fully appreciate the blessings of good health, a loving family, and close friends. Lance described his bout with cancer as "a special wake-up call."

In May 1998, just two years after his diagnosis, Armstrong officially returned to the cycling circuit. After a bit of a rough start, he, again, didn't give up and went on to win numerous races that year.

It was in 1999 that he reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the Tour de France for the first time. But as you know it didn't end there. Armstrong's determination and will earned him four more Tour de France victories in as many years, an amazing feat only accomplished by four other riders in history.

Lance Armstrong is a stellar example of someone who could have very easily given up, but didn't. He persevered and as a result experienced great success.