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great USA Today article by Kristin Armstrong(18 posts)

great USA Today article by Kristin ArmstrongJS Haiku Shop
Jul 25, 2003 10:13 AM
link found on

Falling in love with a man and an event

By Kristin Armstrong, Special for USA TODAY

It always amuses me when I get asked questions about the Tour, things like tactics or my views on what's happening in the race. Don't get me wrong. I'm an intelligent woman who is raising three children in two countries, speaks three languages and has opinions on lots of things. It's just that, well, sports. ... how can I say this? OK. Simply put — I'm a girl. I like pink, wearing dresses, buying new lip gloss. I never gave sports a second thought until I met and married one of the best athletes of all time.

Kristin Armstrong — shown in 2002 with husband and cyclist Lance — says the Tour de France "has grown of me."
By Stuart Ramson, AP

But over the years, cycling, and specifically the Tour de France, has grown on me. And it isn't just because of all the yellow. It is the race as a whole.

My own personal affinity for France, grown out of the seeds you plant when you are starting your life as an adult, is a part of it.

I love the language, the terrain, the food, the wine, the way your initial perception of disorder and inefficiency is later replaced by a peaceful acceptance of a different pace.

And then you put a bike race through all of it. Suddenly you have cute, multilingual men, stellar athletes, dramatically dueling it out on the roads against a backdrop of lavender and sunflowers. OK — a girl could possibly get into this.

My first trip to Europe was with Lance. I was changed forever, knowing how much more there was to enjoy someplace other than the U.S.

I was hooked. And now I watch the Tour, see the hundreds of American flags lining the sides and wonder how many people are new to this.

Something about Lance inspired them to come halfway around the world to a foreign land and stand with a bunch of strangers on the top of a mountain. I can relate.

The experience is awesome. I wonder if it comes across like that on TV: The fact that you can stand inches from your heroes and run alongside them. Or share wine, baguette, water and sunscreen with people you can't converse with. Or feel the whoosh of power as the peloton sweeps by you, catching you in its wake.

You stand, awe-struck on the side. Do they really ride this fast? All day? For three weeks? And do people really stand here for two days just to feel that rush when they pass by? Yes, they do.

This Tour has been a difficult one. People kept asking me, "What's wrong with Lance? Is he OK? Why is it so hard?" Guess what? It's always hard.

The problem with Lance is that most of the time he makes hard things look easy, and that confuses people. Maybe this year was harder than most.

But don't forget, my husband likes to be the underdog. When the odds are stacked against him, he stacks himself against the odds.

But when you are going for five wins in a row? No, you are not the underdog. Instead you get to attach a trailer to your bike, filled with the world's expectations, hopes of cancer patients everywhere, all the folks who now make a living from your pedaling, and pressure from all sides.

When he crashed on the stage into Luz-Ardiden, I literally fell to my knees in front of the television. I was so scared, and yet I saw it happening, the spirit of the underdog being unleashed.

He was on fire. I knew no one could catch him. He rode for himself, the way he likes to ride.

Have you ever seen a dolphin swimming in the waves, graceful, strong, leaping and playing and showing off to no one's delight but its own?

That is the sight of one of God's creatures doing and enjoying what they have been placed on earth to do, and that is what it is like to watch Lance ride his bike.

How's that for sports commentary, girl style?
Fantastic story..............nmDave Hickey
Jul 25, 2003 10:17 AM
Kristen should replace Kirsten nmDougSloan
Jul 25, 2003 10:24 AM
however they may spell them <8-| nmDougSloan
Jul 25, 2003 10:26 AM
Sports commentary, girl style, rocks! (nm)Jon Billheimer
Jul 25, 2003 10:34 AM
Awesome Article ! -nm268generation
Jul 25, 2003 10:35 AM
Wow... if my wife could be so eloquent about the sport...funknuggets
Jul 25, 2003 10:37 AM
I have to give the girl props. What she just said in a relatively few words would take me a novel. I appreciate what she said. It would take JS a boatload of Haikus to do the same... I don't know Kristen from the next woman, but I think she 'gets it'. Spouses are sometimes funny like that, I don't know why Im consistently surprised.

Im glad it is seemingly working out for the Armstrongs.

So sayeth the funk.
but then again, Im not a superfreak cycling millionaire...nmfunknuggets
Jul 25, 2003 11:16 AM
The text in the link got me excited...what a let down...:-)biknben
Jul 25, 2003 10:38 AM
Anybody else notice the text in the link "Kristin Armstrong on Lance". Yeah Baby!!! Yeah!!!

BTW: the story was good...I was just hoping for more. She blows the CC girls away IMHO.
That was SO well written....kind of makes me wonderbicycle268
Jul 25, 2003 10:43 AM
..why she hasn't ghost-written any of his books. If that's actually her words.....
like a "dolphin swimming in the waves"MXL02
Jul 25, 2003 10:49 AM
Isn't that how we all feel when we're hammering and loving every minute of it? What a great simile...thanks for the heads up on the article...made my whole day.
I ride like a jellyfish (nm)PEDDLEFOOT
Jul 25, 2003 11:07 AM
Let's hope you at least feel better than a jellyfish when riding. nmMXL02
Jul 25, 2003 12:30 PM
Good one! I would go with "sloth" myself though (nm)empacher6seat
Jul 25, 2003 2:10 PM
excellent read, thanks!theBreeze
Jul 25, 2003 11:00 AM
My favorite quote,
"Suddenly you have cute, multilingual men, stellar athletes, dramatically dueling it out on the roads against a backdrop of lavender and sunflowers. OK — a girl could possibly get into this."

Guys, you may have the podium girls; but we girls get to watch sleek, shaved, legs-to-die-for for two hours!
excellent read, thanks!VaughnA
Jul 25, 2003 11:49 AM
Yeah...Thats what I tell my wife. She gets 2+ hours of muscular guys in tight shorts and I get 30 seconds of podium girls...

re: great USA Today article by Kristin Armstrongaliensporebomb
Jul 25, 2003 11:04 AM
That girl can seriously write. More, much more please.
Overwhelmingly FANTASTIC !!!!!coonass
Jul 25, 2003 4:37 PM
Probably the absolute best cycling commentary ever.....this is a 'keeper'.