BRATISLAVA. A Hollywood story. The young man charmed everyone, became world cycling champion and had a bright future. Then he was given the shocking diagnosis of a serious illness and a minimal chance of survival.
However, the golden boy of American cycling defeated the disease and, although he considered the end of his career, he returned to the saddle. He became a Tour de France legend and a 7-time winner of the world’s most famous race.
However, the king of cycling later became an impostor and king of doping. The hero was zero, so he described the situation himself. 10 years ago, the perfect story of then-icon Lance Armstrong ended.
Armstrong was born in 1971 in Texas, USA, under the name Lance Edward Gunderson. His mother was only 17 at the time of the birth, and after she broke up with Lance’s biological father, she was left alone to raise her son for some time.
She later married Terry Armstrong and he formally adopted Lance.
Armstrong’s adoptive father is known to have been brought up strictly and reportedly did not avoid physical punishment.
Young Lance was involved in sports, and that sport could often mean an escape from reality for him.
In the eyes of the public, American football, basketball and baseball are typical American sports that young people play there in addition to their studies.
Armstrong, however, went against the grain in this direction. He was interested in endurance disciplines such as swimming, running or cycling.
At the age of thirteen, he won the children’s version of the Iron Man competition, and the tests measured unprecedented levels of efficiency in the use of oxygen. This gave him great conditions for endurance sports.
Later, he decided to devote himself to cycling instead of triathlon. In 1992 he signed a contract with the professional cycling team of Motorola and a year later he showed the first glimpses of excellence in the professional peloton.
He took ten victories, including a stage win in the Tour de France. The real turning point, however, came at the World Cup.
At that time, 21-year-old Armstrong became world champion in Oslo, Norway. He reached the finish line 19 seconds ahead of five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain. The Spanish cyclist was then in the midst of his golden age and at the height of his achievement.
Armstrong represented enormous promise for the future and this was the first truly significant and prestigious achievement in the young cyclist’s career.
He fought cancer
He continued to gain experience and wins. However, in 1996 came a shock. Not only was his career at stake, but his whole life.