Lance Armstrong

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Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

Lance Edward Armstrong (born 18 September 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. Armstrong had been declared winner of the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, before being disqualified from each of those races and banned from cycling for life for doping offenses by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012. He is the founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, later renamed Livestrong Foundation, for providing support for cancer patients.


I want this to be a positive experience and I want to take this opportunity to help others who might someday suffer from the same circumstance I face today.
A boo is a lot louder than a cheer, if you have 10 people cheering and one person booing all you hear is the booing.
No one trains like me. No one rides like me. This jersey's mine.
I want to win … no gifts.
Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?
  • I want all of you to know that I intend to beat this disease. And further, I intend to ride again as a professional cyclist.
  • I want to finish by saying that I intend to be an avid spokesperson for testicular cancer once I have beaten the disease... I want this to be a positive experience and I want to take this opportunity to help others who might someday suffer from the same circumstance I face today.
    • Press conference (8 October 1996)
  • Without cancer, I never would have won a single Tour de France. Cancer taught me a plan for more purposeful living, and that in turn taught me how to train and to win more purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things — whether health or a car or an old sense of self — has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers.
    • As quoted in Forbes Magazine (3 December 2001)
  • Every year the media comes up with something to describe my race … The first year it was "the comeback." Then it was the "the confirmation." I don't know what it was last year. This year, for me, it's "the year of the team." I can't say how I compare to the rider I was in 1999 or 2000 or 2001, but this team is much stronger than it has ever been. It has made it easier for me.
    • As quoted in "King of the Hill" by Kelli Anderson in Sports Illustrated (5 August 2002)
  • I don't have anything against organized religion per se. We all need something in our lives. I personally just have not accepted that belief. But I'm one of the few.
    • As quoted in response to the comment "For a miracle man, you're not very religious", in "10 questions for Lance Armstrong" by Bill Saporito in TIME magazine (28 September 2003)
  • Lance Armstrong: How bad do you want to win a stage in the Tour de France?
Floyd Landis: Real bad.
Armstrong: How fast can you go down hill?
Landis: I go downhill real fast. Can I do it?
Armstrong: Sure you can do it … run like you stole something Floyd.
  • No gifts this year. I have given gifts on the Tour de France and very rarely has it ever come back to help me. This is the biggest bike race in the world and it means more than any bike race in the world. It means more to me than any bike race in the world. I want to win … no gifts.
    • As quoted in "Score another for Armstrong" in VeloNews (22 July 2004)
  • If there was a god, I'd still have both nuts.
    • ET Magazine (2004) [citation needed] This needs further date citation, as the article designated has not yet been located.
  • Finally, the last thing I’ll say to the people who don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the sceptics: I'm sorry for you. I’m sorry that you can’t dream big. I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles. But this is one hell of a race. This is a great sporting event and you should stand around and believe it. You should believe in these athletes, and you should believe in these people. I'll be a fan of the Tour de France for as long as I live. And there are no secrets — this is a hard sporting event and hard work wins it. So Vive le Tour forever!
  • Jake, why are you sitting in the front? I thought you liked it in the rear.
  • Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
    • Armstrong, Lance. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. New York: Berkley Books, 2001
    • "Back in the Saddle - An Essay by Lance Armstrong", as quoted in The Book of Action (2006) by Jeramy L. Patrick and Justin L. Helms, p. 68

It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life (2000)[edit]

Life, to me, is a series of false limits and my challenge as an athlete is to explore those limits on a bike.
  • I want to die at a hundred years old with an American flag on my back and the star of Texas on my helmet, after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at 75 miles per hour. I want to cross one last finish line as my wife and my ten children applaud, and then I want to lie down in a field of those famous French sunflowers and gracefully expire, the perfect contradiction to my once anticipated poignant early demise.
    • p. 1
  • I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsiblity to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, "But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven." If so, I was going to reply, "You know what? You're right. Fine."
    • p. 113
  • Anything is possible. You can be told you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight. By fight I mean arm yourself with all the available information, get second opinions, third opinions, and fourth opinions. Understand what has invaded your body, and what the possible cures are. It's another fact of cancer that the more informed and empowered patient has a better chance of long-term survival. What if I had lost? What if I relapsed and the cancer came back? I still believe I would have gained something in the struggle, because in what time I had left I would have been a more complete, compassionate, and intelligent man, and therefore more alive.
    • p. 267

Every Second Counts (2003)[edit]

  • A life spent defensively, worried, is a life wasted.
    You know when I need to die? When I'm done living. When I can't walk, can't eat, can't see, when I'm a crotchety old bastard, mad at the world. Then I can die.
    • p. 21
  • Life, to me, is a series of false limits and my challenge as an athlete is to explore those limits on a bike.
    • p. 21
  • The Tour (de France) is essentially a math problem, a 2,000-mile race over three weeks that's sometimes won by a margin of a minute or less. How do you propel yourself through space on a bicycle, sometimes steeply uphill, at a speed sustainable for three weeks? Every second counts.
    • p. 157

DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (2004)[edit]

Cameo appearance in the film written by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Peter La Fleur: Uh, actually I decided to quit... Lance.
Lance Armstrong: Quit? You know, once I was thinking of quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you dying of that's keeping you from the finals?
Peter La Fleur: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame.
Lance Armstrong: Well, I guess if a person never quit when the going got tough, they wouldn't have anything to regret for the rest of their life. Well good luck to you Peter. I'm sure this decision won't haunt you forever.

Quotes about Armstrong[edit]

  • I follow the Tour de France about as much as the average North American person… I only know of it because of the success that Lance Armstrong has had. Michael Jordan was the greatest athlete I ever saw. Tiger Woods is now at a point where he is going to go down in history as something special. There's not a question that Lance Armstrong belongs with those two guys. Not only because of what he has done as an athlete, but also what he has been able to come back from.
  • The perfect athlete is Lance Armstrong. What he achieved, no other human has or, in my opinion, will ever achieve. It's hard enough surviving cancer, but winning seven Tour de France titles after that is amazing. He is a true inspiration to me and makes me believe that nothing is impossible. When you have a dream and work hard at it, it's possible.
  • "Him? No way. Absolutely not, he has no conscience."
    • Greg LeMond, American cyclist, three time Tour de France winner, in response to the question of whether Lance Armstrong would come clean about doping.

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