Lance Armstrong is a retired American road racing professional cyclist who is most famous for winning the prestigious Tour de France seven times. Also this well known philanthropist is an inspiration for cancer patients worldwide. The sports icon defeated cancer at very young age despite being given less than 40 percent chance of survival and returned to professional cycling and even won several sporting titles after going through cancer treatment. On February 16, 2011, Armstrong retired from competitive cycling. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged the cyclist for the use of banned performance enhancing drugs. Despite having contested such charges earlier in his career as well, Armstrong announced that he would not be contesting these charges. Subsequently, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that the cyclist was to be stripped of all his titles, prizes, points, finishes, winnings and medals earned after August 1, 1998. Armstrong was also banned from competitive racing for life.
During his active professional life, Lance Armstrong had an annual earnings of $20 million per year. Apart from the earnings from his participation in various racing and cycling events, Lance Armstrong also earned over $17.5 million per year from endorsement deals. As of 2012, Lance Armstrong is worth around $125 million.
Lance Armstrong spends a lot of time and money on supporting his two charities- a cancer foundation called Live Strong and the Lance Armstrong Junior Race Series which promotes cycling and racing among kids. Lance also owns various homes across the world including a 447 acre ranch in Austin, Texas as well as a home and training facility in Girona, Spain.
Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with a stage 3 testicular cancer in October ’96 when he was just 25 years old. The cancer had spread to his brain, abdomen and lungs. To save his life, Armstrong underwent surgery and had the diseased testicle removed. The surgery was followed by intense chemotherapy sessions. Despite his surgeon having predicted less than 40 percent chances of his survival, his cancer went into complete recession and the cyclist was cancer-free by 1998.
In June ’97, Armstrong met Kristin Richard and the couple got married in May ’98. Armstrong had banked sperm before his surgery and chemotherapy and all three of his children with Kristin- son Luke and twin girls Grace and Isabelle- were conceived via in-vitro fertilization. Kristin and Armstrong divorced in September 2003. Lance began dating singer Sheryl Crowe in late 2003 and the couple announced their engagement in ’05. In February ’06, the couple announced that they are no longer together. Lance started dating Anna Hansen in July 2008 and the couple had their first child, son Maxwell, in 2009. In October 2010, the couple announced the birth of their daughter Olivia.