On Wednesday in Rio, American Kristin Armstrong became the first male or female cyclist to win the same event three Olympics in a row. It was also the day before her 43rd birthday.
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 10, 2016
Competing in the time trials event, Armstrong (no relation to Lance) took home the gold for the third straight Olympics in that event. And while it’s ever impressive at her age, it’s even more impressive because she’s a mom and also the full-time director of community health at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise, Idaho. She also became the oldest woman to have won an Olympic cycling gold medal.
Armstrong retired after the London 2012 Olympics, but came out of retirement in 2015 for another chance at gold. Armstrong spoke to that in remarks after the race captured by The New York Times, “When you've already been two times at the pinnacle of the sport, why risk coming back for the gold medal? The best answer I can give is that I can.”
In case you weren’t impressed yet with Armstrong, there’s more: she didn’t become strictly a cyclist until 2001 when she switched from triathlons because of osteoporosis in her hips — yes, she was a world-class triathlete. She eventually had several hip surgeries in 2013 and it was believed there was no way she could come back to this form. Then again, that’s why she’ll go down as one of the greats.
— USA Cycling (@usacycling) August 11, 2016
Armstrong finished the 18.5-mile time trials course in 44 minutes 26.42 seconds. She tells in the press conference that she feels much more closure this time around, and says she won’t try to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Games. An inspiration for women everywhere, she hopes to turn her impressive feats into the push for equal pay and equal recognition.
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