என் சிந்தனைகள்

Monday, July 11, 2005

Lance Armstrong : End of a Cycling Era ....

Tour de france (The tour of france) is considered one of the most toughest Cycling Competition. This competition spans 23 days and it is held in stages.Each stage would have atleast an average of 170 kilometers to be covered through the hills of France. As on this date of writing 9 stages are completed and it is about get finished on the 24th of this July 2005.


Every one's attention is on one guy who is expected to win this competion and he is none other than Lance Armstrong.He is the defending champion for this competion for the past 6 years. Yes.folks...he has consistently performed to be the champion since 1999, each year. Could you beleive that this very same guy was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996.Yes..he was..

I had a chance to read his biography ,"ITS NOT ABOUT THE BIKE. MY JOURNEY BACK TO LIFE".Its worth reading it. I have given it length so as to get the essence of his fight back from cancer.

Image : Lance Armstrong, had always been the leader

The story of Lance Armstrong is inspirational. He was born in Texas,US to LindaArmstrong. Lance's father left her mother when he was a child. Linda worked as a steno and was put to extreme hardship in raising Lance. But she always checked to that Lance's aspirations were always fulfilled. So one fine day, when this little guy asked for a Racing bike,his mother had no other choice than to get it for him.

At one stage when no one was interested in Cycling in the US, Lance was determined that he would never give up this sport. Surprised by his efforts, a local bike shop owner sponsored him for a major cycling competition to be held in Dallas. Lance was a far ahead of his peers in the competition. Days rolled by, he started to win each and every small competition held in Texas. One fine day, the national team selector called him to attend a Medical Examination at the National Testing Laboratory for Bikers. They were surprised to find the test results. The tests showed only less amount of Lactic acid secreted in Amrstrong. When a person does a stress full activity such as running, the secretion of Lactic acid is what causes tiredness. but it seems,Lance was not all tired!!!!! even after 3 hours of cycling.

Then came the good news. He was selected for the US National team. Initial days in the team was hard for Lance, loosing all the competition he participated. He was appointed with a coach named Chris Carmichael. Lance would always be aggressive in his approach right from the start of the game. But Chris expected him to be patient during the initial stages of the competition, So that he can gain stamina during the terminal stages. But Lance would never listen his words.The coach was so determined to change Lance's approach. But one fine day,Lance changed his approach as that of the coach. Since then he understood the idea of performing consistentently and started to finish among the leaders in the competition.

It seemed every thing went fine for the aspiring cyclist. But Lance started feeling bad during his european tour. He felt too much tired early in the race. Also there were signs of his prostrate getting enlarged day by day. He didn't give attention to that and started concentrating on the consecutive Cycle tours in Europe.After coming back to Dallas, he had a medical examination being held. Though Lance had a faint idea of a possible cancer, he was shattered by the news that he has a 3rd stage Prostrate Cancer. Lance did not panic.His mother Linda was by his side always.

Lance started taking treatment with proper diet and pills. This was way back in 1996.He had 2 years to recuperate and came back with a vegeance. He was feeling normal by the end of 1998 and the medical examinations showed that he was fit for cycling competition as well.During his 2 year break, Lance was always practising Cycling. Lance announced that he would participate in all european championships to be held in 1999.

He had good start at the Italian Championships. Then came the Tour de France. He wanted his mother to watch the competition. So the simple steno, Linda was forced to take leave from her work and fly all the way from Dallas to France to watch his son, racing.


But her coming only added a moral boost to him that made him to be the Champion. Every one were taken by surprise..How come a person who was affected by Cancer would win such a tough competition.

Image: The Proud Mother Linda Armstrong , after Lance's victory in Tour de france in 1999

After that there was no looking back for Lance. He started winning almost all the major cycling races. Truly he is considered a Legend and no one would match his fighting spirit.

But all good things come to an end. At the start of this Tour de france championships,Lance announced that he would retire after the Tour de france. In his Own words.." I dont need fame. I dont need attention. I dont need money. All i need to have peaceful family life". While 34 is the normal age to retire from Cycling Sport, but Lance still has the confidence of winning the championships for another 2 years. But he feels thathe is missing his son and wife. Perhaps he wants to give the parental guidance to his son,which he missed in his childhood !!

One fine morning, if you are feeling that you are at Ground Zero, remember Lance. He came with an vengeance from negative (cancer). He fought back his disease and was successful in his career that spanned 14 years.

Come this July 24, whether Lance will be in the Podium of the Champioship or not. We would always remember him as a tough fighter not only in his competition but in his life too...

1 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home