Shamed from the sports life, Lance Armstrong, who used to be the top dog in the biking world, went down the wrong path and fell a long way down.
Born on September 18, 1970 in Plano, Texas, Armstrong was always a strong athlete. According to Contemporary Heroes and Heroines, during fifth grade he began running six miles a day after school and entering weekend races with a mix of youths and adults. By thirteen, he began competitive cycling and combined his three favorite activities to begin entering triathlons, some of which included a 1,000 meter swim, fifteen mile bike ride, and three mile run. It soon became apparent that Armstrong was at his best when he was biking.
According to the Newsmakers database, the summer after graduating from high school in 1989, Armstrong joined the 1990 junior world team and subsequently placed eleventh in the World Championship Road Race. The years that followed saw Armstrong improving his stand in the bicycling world. According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography, he participated in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain, and finished 14th, took second place in a World Cup race in Zürich, Switzerland. He went on to win ten titles in 1993 including a world championship in Oslo, Norway. On October of 1996, Lance Armstrong received the news that he had testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs and lymph nodes. But the bad news did not stop there. Doctors also found tumors in Armstrong’s brain, and his chance of survival was forty percent. His struggles with cancer weighed on his mind were part of the reason he started the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which helps cancer patients and survivors. Armstrong had surgery to remove the testicle, and it was a success. As soon as he was cleared, he hastened back to the bicycling world.
Armstrong went on to shock the world by not just winning one Tour de France, but by winning the tour the tour seven times in a row from 1999-2005. He was an American hero, a legend.
Armstrong had been dogging drug allegations for the duration of his career and on January of 2013, he admitted live on Oprah that he had cheated throughout his career including the use of human growth hormones and testosterone, as well as EPO, a hormone to increase red blood cell count Newsmakers. The result was swift. He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and received a lifetime ban from cycling.
Lance Armstrong was a man whose name was synonymous with greatness, yet became a taboo and cautionary tale in the sport’s world. A disappointing end to a promising beginning (just like this article).