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You spend your life looking up to an athlete. You watch him surmount multiple obstacles and drive himself to victory every time. You aspire to be like him and put his poster on your bedroom wall, hoping that one day you too will live up to his successes. Then out of nowhere, you learn he’s been cheating to win titles. You feel let down, deceived by the very man you entrusted your love and faith in. For many aspiring cyclists, that was how they felt about Lance Armstrong when the news broke that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
He was stripped of seven Tour de France wins and was given a lifetime ban from competing in sports. It was a news that shattered fans of cycling and Lance Armstrong himself. A more detailed story of the extraordinary athlete who made the world fall in love with cycling is told below.
Lance Armstrong’s Bio
Not many know this, but Lance surname isn’t from his biological father. His birth name read Lance Edward Gunderson when he was born on September 18, 1971, but after a divorce between his parents, Linda Gayle and Eddie Gunderson, his mother remarried and Lance was adopted by his stepfather, Terry Keith Armstrong.
Lance was born to a modest family and he would have been forgiven for taking a safer route for his chosen life career but he was a boy with a passion for sports and he was never going to let go of it. Starting from age 12, his brilliance at competitive sport became apparent when he won the Junior triathlon. Between 1987 and 1988, Armstrong was rated the number one triathlete in the country and an interesting anecdote about his exceptionalism as an athlete was under the age of 19 as an amateur, he had a better record than five US triathlon professionals.
In 1992, Lance Armstrong became a professional cyclist and joined the Motorola Cycling Team. Shortly after joining the team, he had his first victory at the World Road Race Championship in Norway in 1993. However, in the early stages of Armstrong’s career, the rumors started to suggest that he was the type to do anything to win. His first CoreStates USPRO National Championship was alleged to have come on the back of Armstrong bribing a competitor to drop off the race but it was never corroborated.
Armstrong success continued to grow as the years passed by until October 2, 1996, when he was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. The diagnosis forced Armstrong into a temporal retirement from cycling to treat himself. After he was declared free of cancer in 1997, he returned to cycling and was signed by the US Postal Team.
Armstrong’s return to cycling in 1998 was the beginning of a run that would solidify his legacy, both positively and negatively. His rivalry began with Jan Ullrich and although it lasted 7 seasons, Armstrong won every single one. Storming to seven consecutive wins at the Tour de France. After his last win in 2005, he announced his retirement from racing.
Before he admitted to doping and was stripped of all 7 titles in 2013, Armstrong returned to cycling after his retirement in 2005 and competed under different sponsors but he never reached the height of his 1998-2005 run.
Since the news of his doping broke, Lance has been subject to multiple lawsuits, including from the US Department of Justice on behalf of the US Postal Service.
Despite settlements from lawsuits and losing his sponsorships after his doping scandal, Lance Armstrong has still managed to maintain a net worth of $125 million. Having lost a lot of the revenue gathered from cycling, his wealth comes from investments and businesses he has established during his days as a beloved cyclist.
Even cheaters have a good side. Armstrong, despite being a notorious cheater has been a philanthropist since his rise to fame through the sport. He established a foundation in 1997 as his contribution to the fight against cancer after he survived his battle with testicular cancer and the foundation, Lance Armstrong Foundation has been able to raise over $325 million in support of the fight against cancer.
Who is Anna Hansen? Wife or Partner, Kids
Armstrong has been married twice to Kristin Richard and Anna Hansen. Armstrong’s first marriage was to Kristin Richard in 1998 and the couple had three children during the period of their marriage. They had two daughters and one son. The marriage took a turn for the worst and ended in a divorce in 2003.
Although Armstrong was briefly engaged to Sheryl Crow in 2005, the two never made it to the altar and broke up in 2006. In 2008, Armstrong met his current wife, Anna Hansen and the two have been married ever since. Armstrong and Anna have two children.
Where Is He Now?
Having spent the past few years away from public eye, recent news suggests Lance is gradually winning back the hearts of those who felt betrayed by his doping scandal. He’s been building a media company called WEDU and it currently hosts two podcasts, The Move, and The Forward. Outside of that, Armstrong spends his time with his family in his home in Texas.