Lance Armstrong is AP Male Athlete of the Year

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  1. Sparhawk

    Sparhawk Guest

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    Lance Armstrong is AP Male Athlete of the Year

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    Dec 26, 2:12 PM (ET)

    By JIM VERTUNO AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - To this day, Lance Armstrong insists cancer was the best thing
    that happened to him.

    By beating the disease that spread from his testicles to his lungs and brain, Armstrong gained
    the courage and will to conquer the Tour de France, considered one of the most grueling events in
    all sports.

    Armstrong went from having a 50 percent chance to live in 1996 to four straight Tour championships,
    earning worldwide praise and admiration from sports fans and other cancer survivors. On Thursday, he
    was named The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

    Armstrong and Barry Bonds were the top two vote-getters for a second straight year, only this time
    the San Francisco Giants' star finished second. Armstrong received 45 first-place votes and 292
    points from sports writers and broadcasters. Bonds had 31 first-place votes and 233 points.

    "Uh-oh, hopefully he's not mad," Armstrong said, referring to Bonds. "It's nice to be recognized."

    Tiger Woods, who won the award 1999 and 2000, finished third for the second year in a row. He
    received seven first-place votes and 110 points.

    Armstrong's comeback has given him the platform to lead public-awareness campaigns against cancer.
    He started the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which funds cancer research, and fills his rare free time
    with hospital visits and fund-raising speeches.

    While he has no stump speech, his message is the same: Cancer made him the person he is today.

    "When I came back, I said if I ever get a chance to do this, I'm going to give it everything. I'm
    going to train correctly, eat right. I'm not going to mess up," he said. "That's why I say all the
    time that the illness is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    "I would never have won one Tour de France if I hadn't had it. No doubt."

    Winning one Tour would have secured his place in cycling history. Capturing four in row put him
    among the greatest riders ever.

    A victory in 2003 - the 100th anniversary of the race - would tie the record of five. Spain's Miguel
    Indurain (1991-95) is the only rider to win five in a row. Armstrong raced in three of Indurain's
    victories and holds the Spaniard in high regard.

    "He was an incredible time trialist, the best that ever lived," Armstrong said. "I can win a time
    trial today, but I would do it by seconds. He could win by a couple of minutes."

    Armstrong was a time-trial specialist himself before the cancer. It was during his recovery that he
    amazingly turned himself into a dominator on the Tour's punishing mountain stages, where his
    breakaways up steep climbs separate him from the rest of the pack.

    Tour officials already have added mountain stages for the 2003 race, but there are fewer severely
    steep climbs. That still bodes well for the 31-year-old Armstrong winning No. 5.

    While he's already eyeing a possible sixth title in '04, Armstrong won't get caught daydreaming.

    "The illness taught me to focus on what's going on now," he said.

    Away from his bike and his cancer-related work, Armstrong is a proud family man. He met wife Kristin
    while taking chemotherapy. His son, Luke, was born in 1999, when Armstrong won his first Tour. Twin
    girls Isabelle and Grace were born last year.

    It's his family, and the realization that he almost never had one, that drives Armstrong.

    "Seeing your kids tomorrow isn't guaranteed," Armstrong said. "Look at this life like it's a gift.
    That's the way I try to view my life, my family - as a gift."

    A downside to his riding dominance is that it raised suspicions among French media and officials
    that Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service team were using performance-enhancing substances.

    Heckled by fans during last year's race, Armstrong has repeatedly denied taking banned substances
    and has never failed a doping test. French authorities in September closed a two-year investigation
    because of a lack of evidence.

    Cancer, however, ultimately gave Armstrong the thing he's maybe most proud of: the label
    of survivor.

    "Sports will come and go, and I will be forgotten," he said. "But something like the illness will
    never go. I'll always have that tag."

    Sparhawk
     
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  2. Danny Callen

    Danny Callen Guest

    "Sparhawk" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > sports home | my scores | my teams | nfl | nba | nhl | ncaa football | ncaa hoops (m) | other
    > sports------------------ncaa hoops
    > (w)mlbauto racinggolftenniswnbaboxingsoccerhorse racingtrack & fieldskiing
    >
    >
    >

    I have to assume he got this award due to his fine performance in the "Fred" Cyclocross he won with
    that dorky number on the front of his bike!!!!!

    Danny Callen
     
  3. Capt'N Dave

    Capt'N Dave Guest

    Lance is the man, Hands down!
     
  4. Nice to see the recognition in the mainstream media, although it's not without its inaccuracies:

    <snip the rest of the story> Armstrong was a time-trial specialist himself before the cancer.

    Hmmm... a one-day stage specialist, maybe, but certainly not a time trial "specialist". Remember
    the footage from the '94 (or was it '95?) Tour when Indurain blew past Armstrong in a time trial,
    making Lance look like an amateur. No, his time trialing prowess didn't emerge until after the
    cancer. And...

    <snip some more> He met wife Kristin while taking chemotherapy.

    Uh, no... he met her long before that. Don't these reporters do any fact checking before writing a
    story that's going to be read around the world?
     
  5. Warren

    Warren Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Danny Callen <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Sparhawk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > sports home | my scores | my teams | nfl | nba | nhl | ncaa football | ncaa hoops (m) | other
    > > sports------------------ncaa hoops
    > > (w)mlbauto racinggolftenniswnbaboxingsoccerhorse racingtrack & fieldskiing
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
    > I have to assume he got this award due to his fine performance in the "Fred" Cyclocross he won
    > with that dorky number on the front of his bike!!!!!

    He finally figured out that the way to get respect from mainstream media was to look like a
    mainstream "athlete". I think the crowning touch on his campaign was his recent appearance on the
    Regis and Kelly show. He finally got some credibility.

    -WG
     
  6. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    Ryan Cousineau wrote:
    >
    >
    > He also won his fourth Tour this year, which clearly separates him from that other American
    > Tour-ist, Greg LeMond. There's also the nature of relative performance. Tiger Woods was only great
    > this year instead of spectacular, and aside from Lance, I can't think of a major athlete who is
    > completely dominating a US-interest sport right now. You could argue a case for Michael
    > Schumacher, but his victory this year was tainted by team shenanigans that belie greatness, and
    > sports writers generally are (wrongly) suspicious of the athleticism of motorsports.
    >

    I think you meant (rightly) there.

    Greg

    --
    "Destroy your safe and happy lives before it is too late, the battles we fought were long and hard,
    just not to be consumed by rock n' roll..." - The Mekons
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, "G.T." <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ryan Cousineau wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > He also won his fourth Tour this year, which clearly separates him from that other American
    > > Tour-ist, Greg LeMond. There's also the nature of relative performance. Tiger Woods was only
    > > great this year instead of spectacular, and aside from Lance, I can't think of a major athlete
    > > who is completely dominating a US-interest sport right now. You could argue a case for Michael
    > > Schumacher, but his victory this year was tainted by team shenanigans that belie greatness, and
    > > sports writers generally are (wrongly) suspicious of the athleticism of motorsports.
    > >
    >
    > I think you meant (rightly) there.

    F1 drivers operate in the 180-odd bpm heart rate for most of the race, and have to stay in top
    physical condition so they are strong enough to operate the car and endure the conditions racing
    imposes on them. I know it sounds ridiculous, but apart from simple driving ability, elite racers
    have to be athletes as well.

    It doesn't apply to all motorsports. In other racing series you'll see downright doughy drivers
    (John Force, best drag racer for a decade).

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] (trim trailing t), www.sfu.ca/~rcousine FREE WINONA!
     
  8. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Ryan Cousineau" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "G.T." <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > Ryan Cousineau wrote:
    > > > I can't think of a major athlete who is completely dominating a US-interest sport right now.
    > > > You could
    argue
    > > > a case for Michael Schumacher, but his victory this year was tainted
    by
    > > > team shenanigans that belie greatness, and sports writers generally
    are
    > > > (wrongly) suspicious of the athleticism of motorsports.
    > >
    > > I think you meant (rightly) there.
    >
    > F1 drivers operate in the 180-odd bpm heart rate for most of the race, and have to stay in top
    > physical condition so they are strong enough to operate the car and endure the conditions racing
    > imposes on them. I know it sounds ridiculous, but apart from simple driving ability, elite racers
    > have to be athletes as well.

    Ryan, we've discussed this before. The heart rate on an F1 rider is high mostly from fear and being
    slammed around in the cockpit. The physical stresses are not the same thing as an athlete endures.
    Of course being more fit gives you and advantage even in those conditions but not the same as the
    difference it makes to a real athlete. The loads on these guys are less than the loads on an F-18
    pilot and most of those pilots would be hard pressed to run a mile in 6 minutes.

    I'm not knocking F1 drivers (or F-18 pilots) but these are NOT athletes in the generally accepted
    definition of the term. They are drivers. I met Al Unser Sr.one time and I got the impression
    that even with my skinny bicyclist arms I could have beat him arm wressling. Not to say that he
    wasn't one of the best race car drivers of all time. But I'm sure he'd never describe himself as
    an athlete.

    So stop trying to make F1 drivers athletes when they are not.
     
  9. Comutrbob

    Comutrbob Guest

    >No, his time trialing prowess didn't emerge until after the cancer

    I watched the 1996 Tour duPont tape while riding rollers yesterday. I don't recall the length of the
    TT, but Lance won it ... beating Tony Rominger by 25 seconds -- and Rominger was the reigning world
    hour record holder at the time. This was PRE cancer.

    >Uh, no... he met her long before that. Don't these reporters do any fact checking before
    >writing a story

    Um, I thought in Lance's own book he talked about meeting Kristin at one of his own Post-cancer LAF
    events. I might be wrong about that, but I don't think he knew her "long before that."

    I think someone else needs to do a little fact checking.

    Bob C.
     
  10. Dave Hansen

    Dave Hansen Guest

    "ComutrBob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >No, his time trialing prowess didn't emerge until after the cancer
    >
    > I watched the 1996 Tour duPont tape while riding rollers yesterday. I don't recall the length of
    > the TT, but Lance won it ... beating Tony Rominger by 25 seconds -- and Rominger was the reigning
    > world hour record holder at the time. This was PRE cancer.
    >
    > >Uh, no... he met her long before that. Don't these reporters do any fact checking before writing
    > >a story
    >
    > Um, I thought in Lance's own book he talked about meeting Kristin at one of his own Post-cancer
    > LAF events. I might be wrong about that, but I don't think he knew her "long before that."
    >
    > I think someone else needs to do a little fact checking.
    >
    > Bob C.

    Correct, she met just after the end of his chemo treatments Dave (just heard her say it from her own
    mouth on the Discovery Health channel series "medical Profiles")
     
  11. "ComutrBob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Um, I thought in Lance's own book he talked about meeting Kristin at one
    of his
    > own Post-cancer LAF events. I might be wrong about that, but I don't
    think he
    > knew her "long before that."
    >
    > I think someone else needs to do a little fact checking.
    >
    > Bob C.
    >
    Oops, you are correct. It's been awhile since I read his book and I recalled that he made a visit to
    the sperm bank prior to the chemo... I thought the sperm bank decision was made with the two of them
    together, but it wasn't until after they met that they discussed a withdrawal, not a deposit, at
    that bank.
     
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