Lance Armstrong

Essay by tommyreyHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2006

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Lance entered 1996 as the number 1 ranked cyclist in the world, competed as a member of the U.S. cycling team at the Atlanta summer Olympic Games, and signed a contract with the French based cofidis racing team.

While seemingly at the top of his game, he was literally forced off his bike in excruciating pain. In early October, his doctor had given him the stunning news that he had cancer. And his life changed forever. Tests revealed advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and his brain. Though his chances for recovery were far less than 50 -50, a frightened yet determined lance began an aggressive form of chemotherapy. With the advice of secialists, he tried a course of treatment that gave him a chance for full recovery with less danger of losing lung capacity as a side effect. Remarkably, the chemotherapy began to work, and lance gradually allowed his thoughts to return to racing.

Cancer left him scarred physically and emotionally, but he now maintains it was "the best thing that ever happened to me." This new perspective allowed him to think beyond cycling and focus on his debt to the cancer community. He formed the Lance Armstrong foundation within months of his diagnosis to help others with their cancer struggles.

Lances complete recovery from cancer seemed miraculous, but actually returning to racing felt unfathomable. Having departed from cofidis, Lance found himself team less until the United States postal service decided to take a leap of faith and sign him. Even if he didn't even race again, the story would be an inspirational one, but it wasn't enough for lance. He needed to prove himself in the ranks of the professional elite. His professional comeback, however, got off to a rocky start, early season racing in...