Tour de France

Lance Armstrong: A Story of Endurance, Perseverance, and Winning

MONACO - JULY 04:  Seven-times winner Lance Armstrong of USA and team Astana in action during the first time trail of the 2009 Tour de France on July 4, 2009 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Don FishCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2009

Lance Armstrong made his intentions of racing in the Tour de France clear several months ago.

While most expected him to compete, no one expected him to win (or even come close), did they? 

He has endured many trials in his most recent comeback. A broken collar bone and much speculation about his use of steroids. 

Armstrong has been forced to take a back  on a foreign team just to be able to compete in the Tour de France, and he’s been humbled by his body’s limitations.  But if you have ever seen a true athlete that has heart, passion, and even a little athletic ability still left in the tank, you should know that Armstrong still has it in him to win.

Everyone that has heard Armstrong’s name knows about his fight with the cancer that spread throughout his body. 

Everyone knows about his troubled marriage and failed celebrity relationship with Sheryl Crow. 

Everyone knows that Lance Armstrong has overcome all of these.  And you should expect nothing less in this Tour de France. 

For me, the athlete most like Lance Armstrong is Michael Jordan.  Time and time again we saw Jordan deal with personal tragedies like his father's death, or when he was rumored to have a gambling problem...but he kept on winning.

Jordan also retired several times, and he came back and kept on winning.  Jordan’s last return as a player saw its ups and downs, but we definitely saw sparks of his greatness. 

Like Jordan, Lance Armstrong has something that none of his competitors has: an iron will.  He has a passion and determination to win at all costs—an ability to suffer for great lengths of time, to endure pain, and to persevere over all obstacles in the way.

Still he keeps on winning.

Unlike Jordan, Lance doesn’t have to perform for 80 some games over a six-month span.  He only has to perform for a few weeks.  And all great athletes have one more in them, no matter what age, no matter what physical limitations are put on them.  Make no mistake, he has one more win in him.

So sit back in your chairs and tune in to the Versus channel every now and then over the next few weeks.  Turn on your Sportscenter, or you favorite talk radio show.  And as Terrell Owens (NFL wide receiver) would say, “Getcha popcorn ready.” 

All the talk right now may be about the current onslaught of celebrity deaths, but in a few weeks it will be about Lance Armstrong winning his eighth consecutive Tour de France.


Note: After Stage Three of the 2009 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong is currently in third place, only 40 seconds behind the leader.  How’s that for taking a back seat and helping someone else win?

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