You spend your life looking up to an athlete. You watch as he overcomes several obstacles and drives himself to victory every time. You strive to be like him and hang his poster on the wall of your bedroom, hoping that one day you too will live up to his successes. Then you find out out of the blue that he cheated for titles. You feel disappointed, betrayed by the very man you entrusted your love and trust to. For many aspiring cyclists, that’s exactly how they felt about Lance Armstrong when the news was spread that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
He was stripped of seven Tour de France victories and banned from the sport for life. News that shocked cycling fans and Lance Armstrong himself. A more detailed story of this extraordinary athlete who made the world fall in love with cycling is told below.
Lance Armstrong’s Bio
Not many people know this, but the last name Lance is not from his biological father. His birth name was 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 into a modest family and would have been forgiven for choosing a more secure path for his chosen life career, but he was a boy with a passion for sports that he never wanted to let go of. From the age of 12, his brilliance in competitive sports became apparent when he won the junior triathlon. Between 1987 and 1988, Armstrong was the number one triathlete in the country, and an interesting anecdote about his exceptional position as an athlete was under 19 years old, and 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 celebrated his first victory at the 1993 World Road Racing Championship in Norway. However, in the early stages of Armstrong’s career, rumors began to suggest that he was the guy who did everything he could to win. His first CoreStates USPRO National Championship in the Core States was allegedly held on Armstrong’s back by bribing a competitor to stop the race, but this was never confirmed.
Armstrong’s success continued to grow over the years until he was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer on October 2, 1996. The diagnosis forced Armstrong to temporarily withdraw from cycling to treat himself. After being declared cancer-free 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 cement his legacy in both positive and negative ways. His rivalry began with Jan Ullrich, and although it lasted 7 seasons, Armstrong won each one. Stormed to seven consecutive victories in the Tour de France. After his last victory in 2005, he announced his retirement from racing.
Before he admitted doping and was stripped of all 7 titles in 2013, Armstrong returned to cycling after his retirement in 2005 and rode under various sponsors, but never reached the peak of his career from 1998-2005.
Since the news of his doping became public, Lance has been the subject of several lawsuits, including one filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service.
Who is Anna Hansen? Wife or Partner, Kids
Armstrong was twice married to Kristin Richard and Anna Hansen. Armstrong’s first marriage was to Kristin Richard in 1998, and the couple had three children during their marriage. They had two daughters and one son. The marriage took a turn for the worse and ended in divorce in 2003.
Although Armstrong was briefly engaged to Sheryl Crow in 2005, they never made it to the altar and separated in 2006. In 2008, Armstrong met his current wife Anna Hansen and they have been married since. Armstrong and Anna have two children.
Despite settlements from legal disputes and the loss of his sponsorship money after his doping scandal, Lance Armstrong has still managed to maintain a net worth of $125 million. Having lost much of his income from cycling, his wealth comes from investments and businesses he built during his time as a beloved cyclist.
Even scammers have a good side. Although Armstrong is a notorious con man, he has been a philanthropist since his rise to fame through sport. He established a foundation in 1997 as his contribution to the fight against cancer after he survived his fight against testicular cancer, and the foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, has raised over $325 million to support the fight against cancer.
Where Is He Now?
After spending the last few years away from the public eye, recent news suggests that Lance is beginning to win back the hearts of those who felt betrayed by his doping scandal. He has built a media company called WEDU, and it is currently hosting two podcasts, The Move, and The Forward. Other than that, Armstrong spends time with his family at his home in Texas.