The most famous American cyclist of all time and perhaps one of the most beloved athletes in sports history, Lance Armstrong was initially written off when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His...
|The BRICK Awards (2005-2006)||Actor||n/a||2005||1|
|The 2005 American Music Awards (2004-2005)||Actor||Presenter||2004||1|
|Koppel on Discovery: Living With Cancer (2005-2006)||Actor||Cancer Patient(diagnosed with Testicular Cancer)||2005||1|
|Lance Armstrong: Competing With Cancer (1998-1999)||Actor||n/a||1998||1|
|Lance Armstrong: Racing For His Life (1999-2000)||Actor||n/a||1999||1|
|Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005 (2004-2005)||Actor||Interviewee||2004||1|
|You, Me and Dupree||Actor||Himself||1|
|The Ultimate Athlete: Pushing the Limit (1994-1995)||Actor||n/a||1994||1|
|Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story||Actor||Himself||1|
|Stand Up To Cancer (2007-2008)||Actor||n/a||2007||1|
|Stand Up to Cancer (2009-2010)||Actor||n/a||2009||1|
|The 2004 ESPY Awards (2002-2003)||Actor||(Best Male Athlete)||2002||1|
|Nickelodeon's 19th Annual Kids' Choice Awards (2004-2005)||Actor||n/a||2004||1|
|Cancer went into complete remission; resumed training|
|Named Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year|
|Made feature film debut with cameo in "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story"|
|Won bronze medal in time trial competition at 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia|
|Became a professional triathlete; won national sprint-course triathlon in 1989 and 1990|
|Placed 12th in the road race at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA|
|Won the U.S. Amateur Championship for bicycle racing|
|Established the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which supported people affected by cancer; Foundation sold yellow "Live Strong" bracelets to raise money for cancer research|
|Announced retirement from professional cycling|
|Announced second retirement from competitive cycling while facing a U.S. federal investigation into doping allegations|
|Co-founded charity organization Athletes for Hope with fellow sports superstars including Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and more|
|Diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer; underwent an orchiectomy to remove his diseased testicle|
|At age 12, began sporting career as a swimmer at the City of Plano Swim Club|
|Won seven consecutive Tour de France races|
|Ran the New York City Marathon, finishing in 856th place; ran again in 2007 and placed 232nd|
|Charged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with doping and trafficking of drugs, based on blood samples and testimonies from other cyclists; received lifetime ban from sport and was stripped of seven Tour de France titles and Olympic medal; a|
|Placed 14th in road race competition at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain|
|Became one of the youngest riders to ever win the UCI Road World Championship|
|Made a career comeback; placed 3rd in Tour de France|
Born Sept. 18, 1971 in Dallas, TX, Lance Edward Gunderson took the last name "Armstrong" when his mother's second husband adopted him. Always athletic, he began his competitive career as a swimmer at age 12, finishing fourth in the state for the 1,500-meter freestyle. He won the Iron Kids Triathlon at age 13 and turned pro triathlete at 16. After a stint training with the U.S. Olympic cycling developmental team in Colorado, Armstrong focused all his energy on bike racing, qualifying for the junior world championships in 1989 and winning the U.S. National Amateur Championship in 1991. That same year, he turned pro as a bike racer. He quickly rose to dominate the professional ranks, winning Italy's Trophee Laigueglia and placing 14th in the 1992 Summer Olympics, which earned him a contract with Motorola. In 1993, he won 10 one-day events and stage racings, including his first stage win at the Tour de France and taking first overall at the UCI Road World Championship. The unstoppable Armstrong went on to win the Thrift Drug Triple Crown: the Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburgh, PA, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia, PA, earning him $1 million. Over the next few years, he continued to notch amazing victories and impressive finishes, winning the Tour DuPont twice and becoming the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne.
Shockingly, his physical performance began to suffer, and he turned in a disappointing performance in the 1996 Summer Olympics. In October of that year, at the age of just 25, Armstrong received a fateful diagnosis that explained the downslide: he had developed stage three testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs and brain. With less than a 50 percent chance of recovery, Armstrong embarked on an aggressive course of chemotherapy that offered less danger of losing lung capacity should he recover. Amazingly, the treatment worked, although he had to have a testicle removed, and his cancer went into complete remission. Armstrong began training again in earnest once the U.S. Postal Service took the unprecedented step of signing him, despite the staggering odds stacked against the cyclist. In 1997, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support people affected by cancer, and the organization became one of the world's most recognized and widely supported groups funding U.S. cancer research, in great part due to the overwhelming success - more than $325 million - from sales of the iconic, ubiquitous yellow rubber "LiveStrong" bracelets. More than just a phrase stamped on the bracelets, LiveStrong became a Nike-sponsored movement and eventually a website intended to redefine health, fitness and lifestyle choices. Even as his personal fame reached new peaks and his standing as one of the most respected and beloved American athletes soared, the cyclist was facing his own professional demons.
In fact, after a poor showing in 1998, Armstrong hit a personal low and many considered his career to be over. The athlete moved to North Carolina to rebuild his body and spirit, and his new, holistic approach to life and to training proved successful when he notched a pair of top-five finishes in the Tour of Spain and the World Championships. Although the fact that he was able to compete in the Tour de France again would have been story enough, Armstrong's jaw-dropping 1999 victory made him more than just an a star athlete - he became an international folk hero and beloved reminder of the triumph of the human spirit. He would go on to win the Tour de France again an astounding six additional times, back-to-back from 2000 to 2005.
On July 24, 2005, Armstrong announced his retirement from professional cycling. His profile had risen considerably across pop culture in the meantime, and he memorably dated singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow from 2003 until 2006. Ironically, not long after their breakup, Crow discovered she had breast cancer, leading Armstrong to offer his ex his help in any way he could. At the same time, the athlete was making the jump to film, scoring cameos in the comedies "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (2004), "You, Me and Dupree" (2006) and a slew of personal appearances on numerous talk and variety shows across the spectrum. Awarded practically every honor available to an athlete, Armstrong could claim among his plaudits being named Sportsman of the Year in 2002 from Sports Illustrated, being named Male Athlete of the Year four times from 2002 to 2005 from the Associated Press, winning Best Male Athlete at the ESPY Awards four times from 2003 to 2006, being named ABC Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year, and earning a 2008 slot in TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People.
Mostly dedicating himself to raising awareness and funds for cancer research, Armstrong surprised many when he announced in late 2008 that he would return to pro cycling with the goal of competing in the 2009 Tour de France. Although his participation in the 2009 UCI Tour Down Under resulted in a 29th place finish, fans booked every hotel room in the Australian city of Adelaide to see him and flooded the South Australian economy with $17 million dollars. Accordingly, the government of Australia pledged more than $4 million towards a cancer research center in Armstrong's honor. Balancing his charitable and athletic duties, Armstrong continued to participate in races leading up to the Tour de France until he crashed in a rider pileup in the 2009 Vuelta a Castilla y León and broke his collarbone. After surgery, he was training again within four days of the operation, and after another flurry of races in preparation, entered the 2009 Tour de France and took home a third-place finish overall. He immediately announced he would compete in the 2010 Tour de France, and after another year of training and racing, put in another impressive attempt. This time sponsored by RadioShack, he placed 23rd.
As sterling a reputation as Armstrong enjoyed, he was not without his critics, and he faced persistent allegations of using performance-enhancing drugs, or doping. Despite Armstrong successfully passing multiple drug tests during the 2008-09 year, the accusations continued, with a former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, telling CBS News and "60 Minutes" (CBS, 1968- ) on May 19, 2011 that he and Armstrong had indeed participated in doping and that the cyclist had paid off officials. Armstrong continued to steadfastly deny any wrongdoing, but a federal investigation was still launched. Despite several attempts to have his case taken out of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and put into the legal court system - where Armstrong's team felt the athlete would stand a far better chance of prevailing - the case remained with the government agency.
In August 2012, Armstrong announced that he would no longer fight the charges leveled against him by the USADA, stating that after two years, he had grown tired of what he described as an "unconstitutional witch hunt." The following day, the USADA announced that the cyclist should be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, in addition to being banned from competition for life. While the Tour de France organization withheld comment on the decision pending more information, the International Cycling Union stated that it would like an explanation from the USADA as to exactly why it was necessary to strip Armstrong of his titles. Two months later, Armstrong - still denying any wrongdoing - voluntarily stepped down as chairman for the Livestrong Foundation he created. Wasting no time, Nike said they were dropping him after 16 years, stating: "Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him." Only days later, Armstrong was officially stripped of his titles and banned for life, after the UCI agreed with the USADA. In January 2013, while giving an interview to Oprah Winfrey on her OWN network, Armstrong fessed up to taking performance-enhancing drugs, insisting even that he did not believe he could have won all seven Tour de France titles without doping. Hours before the interview had even aired, he was striped of his medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
|Isabelle||Daughter||Born Nov. 20, 2001; twin of Grace Elizabeth; mother, Kristin Richard|
|Grace||Daughter||Born Nov. 20, 2001; twin of Isabelle Rose; mother, Kristin Richard|
|Sheryl Crow||Companion||Began dating 2003; Engaged September 2005; Announced split Feb. 3, 2006|
|Luke David||Son||Born Oct. 12, 1999; mother, Kristin Richard|
|Kate Hudson||Companion||Dated during summer 2008; No longer together|
|Kristin Richard||Wife||Married May 8, 1998; Divorced November 2003|
|On Aug. 25, 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned Armstrong from the sport of cycling for life and potentially stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal. USADA charged the athlete for the use and trafficking of banned substances, including steroids and blood doping. Armstrong adamantly denied the allegations, but decided not to fight the doping charges in court. "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said in a statement. In October 2012, just a few months after the doping scandal broke, Nike ended its contract with Armstrong. The athlete also stepped down as chairman of the cancer-fighting charity organization Livestrong. Only days later, the governing body for international cycling, UCI, upheld the USADA charges and Armstrong was officially stripped of all titles and banned for life. Armstrong admitted to all doping charges during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey on Jan. 17, 2013.|
|In January 2013, the International Olympic Committee stripped Armstrong of his 2000 Olympic bronze medal due to the doping scandal.|
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